Sixteen girls from the Forestview Warriors A and B basketball teams joined the Central Lakes College Raiders women’s team in the CLC gym for a night of encouragement, community, and fun Jan. 10.
It was an opportunity for growth for the Forestview girls and the Raiders women.
“This type of community outreach gives our players exposure to the children in the community,” Eastman said. “They get to know the girls and they recognize them when they come to watch the games.
“It puts our women in the role of the teacher. They get to play with the girls, and share the experience of playing on a bigger court.”
The 12 Raiders who participated broke up into groups around the gym and ran drills such as defense, boxing out, dribbling, stealing the ball, layups, and shuffling. The evening was special for Brainerd native Jalynn Lamb as the Raider got to participate in the same clinics growing up.
“I went through the same sports program and I always looked forward to these kinds of things as a kid,” Lamb said. “These girls will come to a few games and we’ll recognize them in the stands. And it’s nice to give them someone to look up to.”
Despite the constant laughter throughout the gym, the Forestview girls worked hard and there were moments that touched and impressed the CLC women as well.
“It’s always so much fun to see how dedicated young girls are at that age,” Raider Nikki Pearson said.
The evening ended with a scrimmage that got the girls, the Raiders, and even the coaches involved on the court. For many of the girls, this was their time to interact with college players, playing on a full-size court, and getting to see what they could accomplish athletically.
“Having fun, staying involved in the community, and growing together are the goals tonight,” Forestview coach Shane Hardee said. “This has been such an amazing experience for the girls. It shows them what they have to work toward.”
Forestview players Ellie Harting, Lillee Hardee, Maddie Barnett, and Ashley Huber listed playing on a big court, getting to spend time with college players, and scrimmaging as the most exciting points of the evening.
“I was really nervous at first but I had a lot of fun,” Hardee said, “It was a great experience.”
All 16 Warrior girls in attendance were given passes to Raiders games and couldn’t be more excited to see their newly made friends play on the big court.