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Lady Mavs basketball team make ‘play of the year’ before season starts

Squad takes part in Operation: Christmas Child

  • The Lady Mavs basketball team holding shoeboxes the team put together for Operation: Christmas Child. - Ricky Williams

  • The Lady Mavs basketball team players sort through items to put into their Christmas shoeboxes. - Ricky Williams

The Lady Mavericks basketball team recently finished its participation in the Operation: Christmas Child program, with each player sponsoring a child from different parts of the world.

Head Coach Nicky Anosike said that the girls actually reached out to her to participate in the program.

“One of our players, Kylee Alvis, sent a message out to our group chat asking about what the team thought about sponsoring a child for Christmas this year. She went out and got the shoeboxes and everyone went out and got the items, then got together with their gifts, put them in shoeboxes, and wrapped them as if they’re Christmas gifts to go under the tree.”

Anosike said that she thinks it’s been really good for the players.

“They understand that they’ve been given so much, especially this year with the amount that the community has supported them and given them. Once or twice a month, I get a message asking, ‘Hey coach, we really want to give back. Can we feed the homeless or do a shoe drive?’

I think this was really eye-opening for the girls. As they were putting together their boxes for the kids, I think they really started to understand how fortunate they are, because they were putting things in like toothbrushes and little toys and trinkets that we take for granted. It was eye-opening for them to see that there are people around the world that see those things as amazing gifts. I think it was a bonding experience, and something that really humbled them.”

Anosike said the girls are already planning their next outreach program, this time aimed at helping the community in a more local sense.

“Our next community outreach will be feeding the homeless. I had another player reach out to me and say she really enjoyed doing the boxes, but that she wants to find people more locally that we can help and give a good meal to.”