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February 9, 2011

Golden Eagles give back; Tech men’s basketball helps out at Sycamore

COOKEVILLE, Tenn. – In the midst of conference play with the OVC tournament in the not-so-distant future, one would think that it would be easy for players to overlook the support of some of their biggest fans.

Or perhaps they should be referenced as some of the program's "smallest" fans, and they have most certainly not been overlooked.

On Thursday, three players from the Tennessee Tech men's basketball team spent time with first and second graders at Sycamore Elementary school during their after-school L.E.A.P.S. program, which gives students the opportunity to spend time in the gym working on homework or being active after school.

Despite a 5 p.m. film and practice session just two days prior to their upcoming game against top-ranked Murray State, junior Kevin Murphy, sophomore Terrell Barnes and redshirt freshman Javon McKay still took time out of their schedules to head over to Sycamore at 4 p.m. on Thursday to spend some time working on some ball skills with the students there.

It was time well spent to say the least, as the look on each student's face was priceless in and of itself. Often times, the impact and prestige that Tech student-athletes have throughout the community as role models is far too under recognized. The opportunity to spend time with their littlest fans served as a reminder to the players, their teammates and the rest of the Tech community of just how valued they are by fans of all ages.

"It was a great experience for us, the kids really had fun and it's always good to give back to the community," Barnes said. "I think I might have enjoyed it better than they did!"

The team hopped a bus to Murray Wednesday afternoon to kick off another two-game stretch of road contests. They'll go up against the OVC's no. 1 Racers on Thursday at 7:30 p.m. and take on the Skyhawks of UT-Martin on Saturday at 6 p.m.

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