Over 100 youth ages 5-15 at the Boys & Girls Club of El Camino Royal on Martin Luther King Drive in Natchitoches enjoyed more than two hours of basketball instruction and life skills advice Thursday from Northwestern State head basketball coaches Mike McConathy and Jordan Dupuy, and members of the Demon and Lady Demon basketball programs.
The event, co-coordinated with Boys & Girls Club executive director Eliza Brittain Behrendsen and her staff, provided a mid-summer lift to clinic participants and NSU personnel. It was the first local community service endeavor for Dupuy, hired in April as the new Lady Demons’ head coach, and his assistant, Olivia Grayson.
“It’s always so much fun to work with children, especially the ones in our community. Not only are we able to put a smile on their face, but they do the same for us as well,” said Dupuy. “Coach Grayson and I had a blast being able to instruct and play with kids and we are looking forward to doing more and more in our community, especially when our ladies are back in town. It’s great to be part of a university that places a strong emphasis on community service, and to partner with our men’s program that has such a longstanding track record of great outreach.”
The activity Thursday wrapped up nearly 800 hours of community service by the Demon basketball program in 2015-16. McConathy was joined by assistant coaches Jeff Moore and Bill Lewit along with Demon players Malik Metoyer and Ishmael Lane.
“It’s a core value of our program to serve others. These are opportunities we love, to provide some fun and inspiration for young people, and as much fun as they have, I believe we have at least as much,” said McConathy. “It’s also a chance for us to share positive messages and encourage kids to have the right values and model good behaviors. The Boys & Girls Club is a cornerstone in our community and we always enjoy visiting them.”