COOKEVILLE, Tenn. -- The Tennessee Tech women's basketball team had a chance to unwind and have a little fun Tuesday night with the local Girl Scouts from surrounding counties.
The 2012-13 season ended a little over a month ago, but the Golden Eagles are already back in the gym preparing for next season. Between conditioning and position sessions, the players have been working hard. When the chance to give back to the game they love arose, they jumped at the chance.
"It was a great night and a great event," said assistant coach and coordinator of the clinic, Allison Clark. "I participated in this when I was a player here and it's great to get back to hosting groups like this. We haven't done it in a few years. We want to get the community involved, and we think it's important to build our players into role models."
Seven Golden Eagles coached eight troops from four counties, ranging from Daisies to Girl Scouts. The players taught at five stations, each highlighting a different aspect of the game. The young girls learned the basics of ball-handling, passing, shooting, defense and conditioning.
Patricia Bouldin, the Putnam County Girl Scout Service Unit Manager, described the success of the event. "I've had so many parents tell me how excited their daughters were to come here. It keeps the girls active and we've really enjoyed being here."
"We want to build well-rounded girls and empower them become strong women," added Jennifer Langley, the Girl Scouts Service Unit Programer. "Being here shows the girls that starting with basketball gives you the opportunity to do something bigger. They see these players and see first-hand that they can accomplish anything they put their mind too."
Not only were the girls treated to a glimpse of what a Tech practice entails, they also got to have some fun. Assistant coach Erin Batth led a lively defensive drill, forcing the girls to be vocal and confident.
"This is what it is all about. I was a Brownie and a Girl Scout. When you're a part of this organization, they teach you so many things about self-esteem and being confident. That really transitions into basketball. We had a lot of fun."
Ending the session, Clark led the group in a game of Simon Says. While she was able to catch a few girls off-guard, she found that her players struggled much more than the young girls, including Molly Heady. Heady, a local from Monterey, Tenn., remembers being the same age and idolizing the players she watched.
"The main reason I came to Tech was because I grew up watching the Golden Eagles. It's just awesome how the cycle comes full circle. We have the chance to be a positive influence on these young girls which is a rewarding experience," Heady said.