April 28, 2008
Northridge, Calif. - Members of the Cal State Northridge men's basketball team are more than just student-athletes. They are members of the community and heroes to young people.
Recently, three members of the Matadors basketball team and approximately 60 students, parents, and grandparents participated in the "10th Annual Earth Day Walk" at Granada Elementary School. Junior Willie Galick (Nanaimo, B.C., Canada), sophomore Tony Osunsanmi (Ontario, Ca), and redshirt freshman Evan Scott (Long Beach, Ca) spent two hours taking groups of children into businesses in Granada Hills in order to spread the word about the importance of Earth Day. The children did the talking, with support from the student-athletes, and asked the business owners to display Earth Day posters (handmade by the students) in their windows so the whole community would be reminded of Earth Day.
"To have these student-athletes come and take part made our children feel important," said Mark Ellis, 3rd grade teacher at Granada Elementary. "For one child in particular, it meant the world to him. For the rest of the day he treasured the autographed t-shirt he received. He folded it over and over on his desk and kept rereading the names on his shirt. I believe that this boy's day was made special by the attention he received from the student-athletes. Of course, all of the children that spent time with the players talked incessantly about it afterwards in class. I'd say that this was our best Earth Day Walk, mostly due to the fact that these student-athletes took time out of their day to spend time with the children of Granada Elementary School."
This was the fourth time Matador Athletics and Granada Elementary School have partnered up during the 2007-08 academic year. The Cal State Northridge student-athletes have participated in reading programs, Halloween costume judging contests, and Dr. Suess Day in addition to their rigorous schedules of class, practice, weight training, study tables, and game day travel throughout the United States.