CCACSA Hosts 'Thanksgiving with the Tigers'

by Corey Howard
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CCACSA Hosts 'Thanksgiving with the Tigers'

BATON ROUGE, La. – LSU student-athletes went the extra mile last Wednesday during an event called “Thanksgiving with the Tigers,” showing the community how much they love and appreciate their support throughout the year.

The event took place in the practice gym of the Pete Maravich Assembly Center just before the start of women’s basketball team’s game against Rice. The event is an annual Christmas-themed community engagement initiative where each team adopts a child through the Alaska Street Boys and Girls Club for Christmas, and provides him or her with Christmas presents.

“It’s huge for us to get out here and interact with the kids,” men’s basketball player Skylar Mays said.  “Just to see the smile on their faces when we give them their gifts, and just to be able to get out there and interact with them and have a good time.”

Big smiles filled the gym everywhere, from both the children and student-athletes. A lot of the student-athletes seemed to be enjoying the event just as much as the children.

“I mean it’s awesome,” softball player Constance Quinn said.  “These kids aren’t able to experience a lot because of their situations, so for us to take the free time we have on our hands and send it with them is fun for us.”

Coaches also enjoyed the event. A few of them stood around smiling, while watching their teams interact with the children.

“I think that this is a really cool event for LSU and athletics in general,” said LSU softball assistant coach Lindsay Leftwich.  “Just to be able to give back in a setting to kids who don’t always receive as much on Christmas you can tell it means a lot to them. So, it is a really cool moment for our kids to take a step back from the season, and realize the responsibility they have here.”

Kids and their parents found the event pleasant, and thought that it was a nice gesture of the LSU athletic program. All of the children enjoyed the time that they spent with the student-athletes, which ranged from eating a Thanksgiving Day dinner, to playing a variety of games, such as basketball, volleyball and even tag.

“I’m having a lot of fun, this the most fun I’ve ever had,” one participating child said. “I like this event. I’m looking forward to coming back next year and go Tigers!”

After the event, participants and student-athletes attended the women’s basketball game, cheering the Lady Tigers on to a 66-55 victory.

The Cox Communications Academic Center for Student-Athletes is a 54,000 square foot facility comprised of an academic affairs, student affairs and an information technology team, serving more than 530 student-athletes. The purpose is to provide an all-inclusive, student-centered support structure for all student-athletes from matriculation, through graduation and life beyond.