Men's Basketball Makes Holiday Hospital Visit

by Kent Lowe (@LSUkent)
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Men's Basketball Makes Holiday Hospital Visit

BATON ROUGE – The LSU men’s basketball team continued its longstanding holiday tradition by visiting the children’s ward of Our Lady of the Lake Hospital in Baton Rouge.

The team, decked out in Santa hats, came loaded with sacks of presents, going from room-to-room visiting with those patients that could receive visitors. Among the gifts were LSU basketballs, posters and miniature basketball goals. The team also visited the pediatric emergency room and surprised the kids and staff there with some holiday cheer.

“The visit was great,” said freshman guard Andre Stringer, making his first OLOL Christmas visit with the team. “We know this time of year is a giving time, and we are a giving team. We value the local kids and their opinions of us as role models. We wanted to come out and give some support to kids that are in need and aren’t as fortunate this Christmas.”

“It was great to come out here and see the kids smile,” said junior Storm Warren. “Sometimes they might not feel like smiling, so it is great to come out here and put a smile on their faces and help them have a great day. We want to give back in as many ways as we possibly can. We have fans everywhere, and we want to reach out and touch them. They come out and support us, and we are looking to support them where we can as well.”

Garrett Green, a junior forward, understands how fortunate he is as a student-athlete at LSU. “It is absolutely amazing where basketball takes you in life,” he said. You wouldn’t expect to come in here with a basketball team and have the kids be so happy to see us. We enjoy it as a basketball team, and it is fun for us. We just love knowing that we can help.  Every time we went in a room, the kids would look down at first. But then we’d give them some presents, and sing to them, and they’d get into the Christmas spirit. Everyone just sparked up and it felt good.”

The players and Coach Trent Johnson also serenaded the ER Nurses and patients with the “Jingle Bell Rap” that got its official start a few years ago, this time featuring Warren providing the rhythm for the rest of the team.  It’s the LSU basketball version of two-part harmony on the famous song.

“We just put that together, and we went with it,” Warren said.

“We put a little ‘LSU Basketball’ mix to it, started singing it, and everyone liked it,” said Green.

“I had a blast, the team had a blast, and (the kids) brought a smile to my face,” said freshman Ralston Turner. “If I’m 80 years old, if I can put a smile on somebody’s face, I’d be glad to do it.”

The LSU men’s basketball team plays its final game before the short Christmas break on Wednesday at 7 p.m. against North Texas. Tickets are available at LSUtix.net.

Fans can follow LSU Basketball on Facebook at www.Facebook.com/LSUBasketball and on Twitter @LSUBasketball and @LSUCoachJohnson.