Center for Community Engagement

Men's and Women's Basketball team up with Project Coach


Both the men’s and women’s basketball teams enjoyed very successful seasons this winter. The men’s team entered post-season play in both the NESCAC and NCAA tournaments, earning their fifth NESCAC title and ending their formidable run in the NCAA’s Sweet Sixteen.  The women’s team earned an undefeated regular season, snagged their fourth NESCAC title, and made their way to the semifinals of NCAA play.  But perhaps more impressively, both teams took a time out while in season to work together on a community engagement project.

On February 13, the men's and women's teams held a basketball coaching clinic for the second time with members of Project Coach.  The aim of Project Coach is to train high school and middle school students to be coaches of youth sports teams.  The program fosters healthy after-school activity choices, encourages an active lifestyle, and trains effective leaders.  

“The program is designed to give these students opportunities to spend their free time productively,” men’s basketball player and Center for Community Engagement Athletics Liaison Roshard Bryant ’13 explained. “We’re building leadership in a community that needs it.”  

About thirty high school and middle school students involved with the Project Coach team gathered in Lefrak Gymnasium to learn from NESCAC’s best.  The thirty coaches were using the clinic to prepare to lead their teams, a league of local elementary schools, in their upcoming season.  

The night was spent working the aspiring coaches through a series of skill-specific stations.  “We focused on defense, lay-ups, shooting technique, and passing,” noted team member Connor Johnson ’12, who also helped organize the event.    

The teams taught the future coaches the necessities for teaching these skills to younger players.  At the end of the night, the head coaches of both teams touched on some of the intangibles of coaching: effective communication, and how to be a role model for your players, among other things.  “We have a pretty big appreciation for being on a team and the benefits that come from that,” Johnson continued. “To be able to give someone else the skills to create that environment, that opportunity for others, is really great.”  

If you and your team are interested in running a sports clinic for one of the CCE's local partnerships, contact the Athletics Liaisons.

Reilly Horan ’13 is one of three Athletics Liaisons for the Center for Community Engagement. Athletics Liaisons connect athletes and coaches to the resources of the Center for Community Engagement and work to create a sustainable culture of service within the Athletics Department. Visit the Athletes in the Community page to learn even more.

If your team is looking for community engagement projects, contact Roshard Bryant ’13 at  rbryant13@amherst.edu or Irene Hickey ’13 at  ihickey13@amherst.edu for advice and resources or visit their office hours in the Center for Community Engagement (in Keefe Campus Center) every Friday from 10am-12pm. If your team just completed a community engagement event, contact Reilly Horan ’13 at  rhoran13@amherst.edu so that the campus becomes more aware of what your team is doing to get involved.