Senior Ayana Dunning checks out shoes with her shopping buddy.
The West Virginia women’s basketball team along with student-athletes from the WVU track and field and wrestling programs paired up with Mountainview Elementary School to take part in this year’s Angel Tree Project.
The school collects donations in order to fund a shopping trip for some less fortunate children during the holiday season.
After the event on Tuesday, sophomore women’s basketball player Averee Fields posted on her Facebook page, “Today was so rewarding. Seeing a smile on a child's face might be the closest thing to heaven. I am so thankful for people and schools that reach out and bless the needy and I'm thankful I had the opportunity to be a part of it all.”
After following up with Fields about the experience, she felt there was more to being a part of the Mountaineer women’s basketball program, and it came in the form of giving back.
“It was really cool to see the different kids and the smiles on their faces when they got to pick out different stuff that they wanted,” Fields explained. “Some of them needed certain clothes, and it was so rewarding to be able to help the community and not just worry about basketball and rushing home. It was nice to help somebody out that needed something. It was a great experience overall.”
Senior co-captain Ayana Dunning also took away from the experience.
“It’s always good to give back, especially during the holidays and at Christmas time,” Dunning said. “We know that some families are less fortunate and can’t always have a story or textbook Christmas and to be able to help put a smile on somebody’s face during the holidays is just really warming for the heart. I know everyone thoroughly enjoyed it. I got to work with several kids and it just makes you appreciate what you have and the things that your family does for you. It was heartfelt and a good lesson for all of us.”
The Mountaineers return to the court for one final game before the holiday break as they take on the Duquense Dukes tomorrow at 7 p.m.