NEW ORLEANS – With the summer upon the Tulane student-athletes, many have traded in their uniforms and equipment to lend a helping hand in the New Orleans community, as hundreds of Green Wave student-athletes have taken part in a variety of events during the first two Fridays of June.
Each Friday throughout the summer months, Tulane student-athletes, along with athletic department personnel, will venture out into the community that surrounds the Uptown campus.
On June 6, four different groups of student-athletes split up and performed a variety of duties at different locations across the city. Devin Powell (football), Paije Hall (women’s basketball), Jamie Kaplan (women’s basketball), Tyler Gilbert (football), Tre Drye (men’s basketball), Alex Van Cott (men’s tennis), Tim Yandel (baseball), Payton Henson (men’s basketball), Lauren Arnold (swimming and diving) and Justyn Shackleford (football and track and field) headed to the Tulane Cancer Center, where they brought smiles to the faces of many of the young patients being treated for illnesses. The group played games and chatted with the kids, while also passing out Tulane hats, sunglasses, wristbands and other memorabilia.
Another group spent time at the NFL Youth Education Town on South Broad Avenue. Fletcher Barnes, Eric Bowie, Glen Cuiellette, Andrew DiRocco , Raul Diaz , Lorenzo Doss , Braynon Edwards , Terren Encalade, Rene Fluery, Zachary Harris, Dontrell Hilliard, Devon Johnson, Charles Jones , Robert Kennedy, Donnie Lewis, Stephen Lofton, RaeJuan Marbley, Trey Scott, Daren Williams, Sean Wilson, Peter Woullard, Rob Kelley, Frank Thomas and Royce LaFrance of the Green Wave football squad joined men’s basketball players Louis Dabney, Kajon Mack, Malik Morgan, Cameron Reynolds, Ryan Smith and Keith Pinckney in speaking to over 150 children, dishing out advice on the importance of studying, exercising and staying in school. The group also spent some time doing drills with some of the children.
Across town, a large group of Green Wave football student-athletes in Eric Bell, Bob Bradley, Aaron Bryant, Quinlan Carroll, Sean Donnelly, Jarrod Franklin, Luke Jackson, Tanner Lee, John Leglue, Nico Marley, Calvin Thomas, Lazedrick Thompson, Arturo Uzdavinis, Fudge Van Hooser, Eldrick Washington and Sam Winston spent some time helping beautify the area around the New Orleans Museum of Art in City Park. The contingent of footballers not only picked up trash, but pulled weeds in the gardens surrounding the area while also trimming overgrown bushes and trees.
The last group of Tulane student-athletes stayed on the Tulane campus, performing a variety of duties in the on-campus Aron Apartments. Amy Lanski (volleyball), Annie Shurtz (volleyball), Tamika Brazzel (track and field), Whitney Bibbins (women’s basketball), Tiffany Dale (women’s basketball), Chinwe Duru (women’s basketball), Sergio Medina (football), Tristan Cooper (football), Morgan Rogers (women’s basketball), Josh Hearlihy (men’s basketball), Eric Thomas (football) and Nathan Shienle (football) were under the command of Tulane maintenance crews, helping to repair and clean the apartments for the upcoming tenants.
The following Friday (June 13), more student-athletes took to the streets of New Orleans to volunteer their time in a variety of ways. Once again, a group of student-athletes in Sherman Badie (football), Tierra Jones (women’s basketball), Brent Comardelle (football), David Dubriel (football), Emerson Gibbs (football), Brandon Godfrey (football), Dontrell Hilliard (football), Richard Allen (football and track and field), Charles Jones (football), Robert Kennedy (football), Stephen Lofton (football), Tanzel Smart (football), Mel Mandelbaum (volleyball) and Adesuwa Ebomwonyi (women’s basketball) returned to the Avon Apartments to continue the work of their peers.
Additionally, Bell, Brazzel, Carroll, Diaz, Dirocco, Edwards, Encalade, Hall, Leglue and Thompson joined first-timer volunteers in Kedrick Banks (football), Silvai Garces (women’s golf), Nick Montana (football), Parry Nickerson (football), Emily Penttila (women’s golf), Dylan Richman (football), Trey Scott (football) and Jason Stewart (football) for the second-consecutive trip to the NFL YET facility by Green Wave student-athletes.
Some Green Wave student-athletes did participate in new events on June 13, as two different groups spent some time at facilities for those less fortunate.
Football stars Bryant, Donnelly, Franklin, Marley and Van Hooser joined forces with teammates Devon Breaux, Matt Marfisi and Kenneth Santa Marina at the Bridge/Grace House on Earhart Boulevard whose mission is to provide gender specific treatment to men and women who have become dependent on alcohol or drugs so that they may lead sober and productive lives. The group of student-athletes washed cars, which are donated to the facility and then sold to raise funds for the facility. The football players also prepared meals for those who are currently at the facility.
While the football players were at the Bridge/Grace House, a wide variety of student-athletes – including Arnold, Barnes, Bowie, Cuiellette, Doss, Edwards, LaFrance, Johnson, Lewis, Medina, Rogers, Thomas, Shienle, Sydie London (football), Daliadiz Ortiz (track and field), Xavier Rush (football) and Nicky Stracar (women’s tennis) – spent their Friday afternoon at the Covenant House on North Rampart Street. The Covenant House is a 24-hour facility that provides a safe haven for homeless and at-risk youth. Many of the male student-athletes took part in cleaning and repairing some of the stairwells at the facility in addition to unloading water from trucks for the youth staying at the facility. Many of the women student-athletes helped prepare meals in the kitchen during their time there.
“These organizations really appreciate the work our student-athletes are doing this summer,” said Charlotte Battiest, an academic counselor in the Academic Services Center for Student-Athletes and one of the spearheads of the community service work by the Green Wave student-athletes. “Community service is one of the cornerstones we build programming around and I am glad our Athletic Director Rick Dickson supports the Athlete Essentials 101 and 201 summer programming and community service outreach.”
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