By Rachel Williams
Athletic Communications Student Assistant
Oakland men's basketball reached out into the community serving at Bound Together in Pontiac on Wednesday, Feb. 8. The student-athletes spent time teaching the game of basketball, playing one-on-one and giving advice on how important school is.
"It was great having the team out here to spend some time with us," said Jane Porter, Executive Director of Bound Together. "Oakland University is just down the road from here in Rochester, and these kids really look up to these great student-athletes. They hear us talk about how important school and education is, but to hear it from them, makes a big difference in their lives."
The Golden Grizzlies arrived at 4 p.m. to meet the children. They were ushered into the small basketball court within All Saints Episcopal Church where they played with the children.
"It's important for us to give back to the community because we receive so much support throughout the season," said Palombizio. "It's a nice way to give back and show people we care. I had a blast with the kids and it feels good to have an impact in the community."
Brock and Brechting lifted the smaller children up to “dunk” on the hoop and Neely played dodgeball with a few of the kids.
Clark made a special effort to meet one of the girls, Nyja, who had been practicing free throws for weeks in expectation of the team’s arrival.
After playtime in the gym, the team went into Bound Together’s group room and formally introduced themselves while encouraging the children to stay in school and focus on their education.
Captain Nick Daniels presented the group with an official game ball with Coach Kampe’s name emblazoned in gold and Brock handed out tickets to Motor City Madness, courtesy of Olympia Entertainment.
Their impact on the children in the short span of time was evident as one child, Alex, asked them when they were coming back to play and another ran up to Brad Brechting to give him a huge hug before he left.
Bound Together is an after-school tutoring program that helps students in first grade through sixth grade, supplementing their education and providing them with life skills, clothing and school supplies.
Bound Together currently serves 23 students with a rotating cycle depending on when kids age out of the program.