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Archers Strengthen Team Bond Through Service Project

September 22, 2011

STLCC women's basketball team service project  
St. Louis Community College's women's basketball team recently cleaned blinds and washed windows as a preseason service project at the Rose Hill House Senior Apartments. Pictured are kneeling, from left, Markita Mosley, Lena Alpough, Joanessa Fequiere and Datona Ball; and standing from left, Assistant Coach Melanie Marcy, Brooke Sanders, Cierra Gaines, Lauren Maclin, Kelsey Brock, Shonnisha Davis and Head Coach Shelly Ethridge. Other team members who participated but are not pictured are Brooke Valleroy, Megan Hawkins, Kirstie Owen, Lauren Fischer, Shakaunna Futrell and Paige Laird.

The preseason regimen for the St. Louis Community College women’s basketball team includes much more than strength and endurance conditioning, on-court drills, and learning new offensive and defensive schemes.

Coach Shelly Ethridge makes sure team members realize that there is more to life than basketball. So for the past couple of years, Ethridge, assistant coach Melanie Marcy and their squads have performed community service projects. This year’s project involved cleaning the blinds and washing windows at the Rose Hill House Senior Apartments in Kirkwood.

“Any time that we can provide our services for the elderly, we try to do it and help any way that we can,” said Ethridge, who is entering her third season at St. Louis Community College. “We have visited a lot of homes for the elderly, but we also have visited Children’s Hospital in the past. I think it’s important for the kids to understand what life’s about, not just basketball, and understand the importance of youth as well as the elderly, and that everybody has a role in this life.”

For the players, it’s a welcome change of pace from the weight room and gymnasium.

“My dad works with people who can’t get jobs because they have disabilities,” said Lauren Maclin, a freshman from Ladue High School. “It’s cool to do this (project) with my teammates, do something besides basketball with them. We have to get to know each other. So doing something outside of basketball helps us get to know each other better.”

Kelsey Brock, a freshman from Fort Zumwalt East High School, also is no stranger to service learning. Her high school team picked up trash through Operation Clean Stream. She agreed that team bonding occurs best off the court.

“We’re having fun, and being in an environment besides the gym is good,” she said. “Workouts are OK, but interacting with my teammates doing this project is fun.”

With a little more than a month before an exhibition opener against McKendree University’s junior varsity team, team bonding is important, particularly for a team whose roster has just two sophomores.

“As a team we’re coming together more,” Maclin said. “We’re like one family – we are going to be with each other all the time now. Workouts are hard, and we have to push ourselves and each other. We’re getting through this together, and I think it’s going to pay off for the season.”