By TOM ZEBOLD
USF Senior Writer
TAMPA - The main goal of community service is giving back, but newcomers on the USF women's basketball team wound up getting a whole lot out of recent a trip to the Northwest Hillsborough YMCA.
Guards Alisia Jenkins, Laura Marcos Canedo, Shavontae Naylor and Courtney Williams - the Bulls' four incoming freshmen - turned a simple clinic with kids into an unforgettable experience that lasted nearly two hours on Tuesday, July 3.
The first 20 minutes of the visit were dedicated to USF's future stars sharing their own stories about life and basketball to give the kids a starting point of how to get a career going in the sport.
"At first they went in and they were very quiet because you know they're still kids. They were shy and they were reserved," USF assistant coach Carrie Banks said.
Banks helped the freshmen out a bit by asking them questions and the new Bulls "really got into it," which made for a very involved group of children. The remaining part of the trip was all about showing the kids the basics of basketball and having fun with a sport that may end up becoming a huge part of the youngsters' lives down the road.
"The good thing about these kids is somebody has done it for them somewhere in their life. Somebody has done this for you. Now you've gotten to your big Division I scholarship goal and now it's your time to go do it and inspire somebody else," Banks said.
USF's freshmen also got a lot out of an experience that may help them once members of the media and cameras are in full force when the season rolls around.
"They started off kind of like being the new kid at school and by the end of the day, they were the popular kids," Banks said. "It was good because they came out of their shell a little bit talking in front of a group."