All were huddled around tables, putting their heads together as they solved math and other homework.
Some of the students were much taller than the others.
Angelina College’s Lady Roadrunner basketball team spent Thursday afternoon working with youngsters at J.D.’s Hope Center in Lufkin. The players were there as mentors, but most of them dove into the kids’ homework assignments as the younger crowd trickled in from school.
Stephanie Olford, Executive Director of the Center, said AC’s student/athletes were providing much-needed assistance in one of the Center’s primary programs.
“They’re helping out with our after-school program, which includes kids from Pre-K through high school,” Olford said. “They’re tutoring the kids, some of whom have difficulties in such subjects as reading and math, so these young ladies are here to help get those students on the right track.”
Olford acknowledged AC women’s assistant coach Randy McKelvey, who called Olford with the offer to help.
“I got a phone call from Coach McKelvey, and he offered to bring his girls over to volunteer and participate,” Olford said. “I was excited.”
McKelvey said he’s very familiar with the Hope Center, and felt his players would appreciate the chance to contribute to the children and other young people entering the Center’s doors.
“I just felt like it would be a great opportunity for our kids to give something back to the community, and to something that’s close to me,” McKelvey said. “I’ve been here at the Center before, and I know they do good things here. I thought our kids would enjoy the opportunity to do some mentoring, and it’s something we hope to continue.
“When I first mentioned it to our players, they were up for it, and then when they first saw the little ones coming through the door, they were excited. They were exchanging names and talking about school, so I think it went very well.”
The Lady Roadrunners open the 2017-2018 season on Nov. 1 in Waco.
The e-mail address for AC’s Sports Information Director is firstname.lastname@example.org.
Sports Information Director Gary Stallard, who also serves as a Liberal Arts Instructor, begins his eleventh season with Angelina College. Following a career as a U.S. Marine, Stallard completed his bachelor’s degree at Stephen F. Austin University, where he majored in English and Journalism. For more than 16 years, he has worked as a sports writer/columnist/photographer for the Lufkin Daily News; he continues to contribute free-lance articles on occasion. Stallard has won several awards for writing, including the Golden Hoops Award for basketball writing in 2003, Regional Sports Writer of the Year in 2004, and the Texas Press Association’s first-place award for column writing in 2007 and in 2014. He has also done basketball, football and baseball radio and live streaming play-by- play and color commentary for an ESPN affiliate. Currently Stallard serves as play-by-play broadcaster for AC basketball, baseball and softball games.
Prior to arriving at Angelina College, Stallard taught English at Lufkin High School for four years. He currently teaches Developmental Writing classes at AC. He and his wife Susan live in Lufkin.
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