Duncan, S.C. – The outpouring of community support towards the USC Upstate men’s basketball program last season was nothing short of amazing. On Wednesday, four members of the team took the opportunity to give back to the community by visiting Abner Creek Academy for a morning full of reading and activities.
Abner Creek Academy reading coach Melissa Fowler introduced the all-day reading event entitled GAME ON with a goal or urging students to remain excited and continue reading throughout the summer. The objective was to highlight the comparison between sports and reading and the need to continue practicing and improving on skills.
Upstate representatives Michael Buchanan, Damien Goodwin, Marvin Smith and Tristan Thomas each served as guest readers and visited three different classes during the morning session. Each student-athlete read several books to children ranging from kindergarten through fourth grade.
“Being able to give back to the community was a great experience for everyone involved,” Thomas said. “We really enjoyed the opportunity to read to the kids and answer questions they had about us and basketball. I never realized how peppy and fun of class of fourth graders could be.”
The Spartans were also provided the opportunity to compete against Abner Creek Academy students in one of its physical education classes.
“Today was a great day for some of our men’s basketball players to readjust their lens as college athletes and recognize the simple joys that Abner Creek Academy students have in their young lives,” USC Upstate Academic Advisor for Student-Athletes Susan Kolb said. “The Upstate student-athletes provided the elementary students with great messages about practice, work ethic and good grades, but they too walked away from the elementary school feeling proud about their collegiate journey and their positive impact on young, prospective student-athletes.”
The mission of Abner Creek Academy is to provide every student quality educational experiences in a safe, nurturing and engaging environment, enabling each individual to succeed in life and function as a productive citizen.