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Women's Basketball Spends An Afternoon With Students Volunteering At Vista Elementary

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CLAREMONT, Calif. – After a morning practice at Ducey Gymnasium on Wednesday, Jan 16, the Claremont-Mudd-Scripps women's basketball team packed into the van to hit the court again in the afternoon, but for a different reason. With school still on break and an off day in-between games, the Athenas spent a few hours playing games and tutoring students who participate in the After School Community Education and Safety (ASES) program at Vista Del Valle Elementary School in Claremont.

"We want to give back to our community," said Athenas' head coach Kristen Dowling. "Part of building a top program is not just about basketball, it is also about getting the community involved, building relationships with the Claremont community and giving back."

ASES is a state-run after school enrichment program that partners with the local community and is dedicated to helping kindergarten through ninth grade students in income-qualifying families learn life skills such as healthy eating, physical activity and the importance of an education.

"This is the age where you want to curb childhood obesity and teach life skills so if these guys (the students) can see real student-athletes, it makes a big difference in what they want in life and the choices that they make going forward," said Ian Tompkins, a primary ASES instructor.

The afternoon began with the Athenas out on the blacktop for about an hour playing a variety of basketball-related games such as Knockout and tag with the students from Vista who ranged from kindergarten to sixth grade. After the students got out some energy playing games, everyone headed back to their respective classrooms to work on homework. The Athenas then broke up into groups of three and went around to the different classrooms to help the students with their homework. The day then concluded with the students and Athenas enjoying snack time together.

CMS gets back to SCIAC play tonight with a home game vs. Cal Lutheran at 7:30 p.m. in Ducey Gymnasium.

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