Tiger Basketball Makes Commitment to Big Brothers
Oct. 21, 1999
Memphis, Tenn. - The University of Memphis Tiger basketball team will join forces this season with Big Brothers Big Sisters of Memphis for a new venture in community outreach.
During the 1999-2000 academic year each member of the team will serve as a mentor for an area child.
"There is a pressing need for male volunteers," Big Brothers Big Sisters executive director Adrienne Bailey said. "The Tigers are challenging the community to become involved in the mentors program. We hear people say they donít have time. We donít want our mentors to make time, just to share the time they have."
Bailey said college students make ideal mentors because their schedules permit them to be involved and more importantly, children are more responsive to young adults.
The student-athletesí involvement in the program began earlier this month when each member of the Tiger team met individually with one of the Big Brothers Big Sistersí care managers. It was an opportunity to determine the Tiger playersí goals and hobbies in an effort to better match them up with their little brothers.
"The exposure the littles in Big Brothers Big Sisters have is so narrow," Bailey said. "Usually they come from single, female parent households. They have to take two or three jobs just to make ends meet and donít have the time to take children places the children of two-parent homes take for granted. This is a wonderful opportunity."
"Part of the challenge we place on our players is to be givers and not takers," said Memphis basketball coach Tic Price, who along with U of M football coach Rip Scherer serve on the Big Brothers Big Sisters board of directors. "This is a way our kids can give back to the community."
The Tigersí little brothers will be exposed to a behind-the-scenes look at Memphis basketball and NIKE has made a commitment to supply game tickets to U of M games for the children.
Each player will meet his little brother following next Wednesday's practice.
To join the Big Brothers Big Sisters team, call 323-5440.