College athletes shoot baskets and layups with Roanoke’s Minnick School students

Published: May. 23, 2023 at 5:58 PM EDT
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ROANOKE, Va. (WDBJ) - University basketball players shot some three-pointers and layups with students at Roanoke’s Minnick School Tuesday.

Players from Virginia Commonwealth University (VCU), University of North Carolina Greensboro (UNCG) and members from Synergy Technical helped create a fun school day for students with disabilities.

Minnick Schools Roanoke Main Campus’ principal explained the yard games are a way for students to show sportsmanship and have fun outside.

“It’s really about giving our students the tools and strategies when it comes to behavior and socialization,” Rebecca Bays said. “This is an opportunity for them to show their social skills in a different setting as opposed to inside the classroom.”

A senior athlete at UNCG explained playing tug-o-war alongside students is a way to give back to the community.

“The most important thing for me is really just being around the kids, giving them someone to look up to,” Mikeal Brown Jones said.

Synergy Technical coordinated efforts between the schools for a field day filled with games and memories.

“This is really important for all communities, because these kids are underrepresented half the time,” coordinator Lebi Stockard said. “For somebody like a basketball player to come back and give these kids time is super important; the impact is unmeasurable.”

Brown Jones explained he hopes how he can help students achieve their goals.

“This is bigger than us, this isn’t about me, this isn’t about him, it’s about the children that you see here today,” Brown Jones said. “The most important thing is to make sure that they leave today with a smile on their face.”