By Mike Demos
The men’s and women’s basketball teams recently visited 10 Capital Region schools as part of the BlueShield of Northeastern New York Saints in the Community Adopt-A-School program. The student athletes preached the value of hard work, good academics and a healthy lifestyle.
The Saints visited Brighter Choice School for Boys, Brighter Choice School for Girls, Albany School of Humanities and Philip Schuyler Achievement Academy in Albany. They also made visits to St. Mary’s Academy (Hoosick Falls), North Albany Academy (Menands), Forts Ferry (Latham), Karigon Elementary School (Clifton Park), Zoller Middle School (Schenectady) and McNulty Academy (Amsterdam).
The student athletes and coaches addressed students on a range of topics, focusing on what it takes to not only be a Division I athlete, but how to set and achieve goals. Topics included importance of hard work, academic achievement, good sportsmanship and effective time management.
The Saints also interacted with students, playing games and participating in basketball drills. At the conclusion of each program, the student athletes took time to sign autographs and present the students with some special Siena Saints memorabilia.
As part of the Adopt-A-School program, a total of 2,368 school children and teachers from the 10 schools attended women’s basketball’s third annual BlueShield of Northeastern New York Kid’s Day Game on Jan. 10 at the Alumni Recreation Center. The crowd was the second largest ever to see a Siena women’s basketball game at the ARC.
BlueShield’s Healthy Zone cruiser was at the game, providing various activities and giveaways.
Members of Siena’s athletic programs interact with designated schools throughout the year, providing guidance and leadership to area youths.