I am a husband, father, son, brother, uncle and friend. I believe in sharing my talents and experiences by giving back to the community by giving my time to coaching, church and especially to the disability community. I truly believe that all men and women are created equally.
This past weekend, we were Welcomed by Coach Buzz Wiliams and the entire Marquette Men's Basketball Family to attend a game and given a chance to interact with the players prior to the game.
For those who are not aware of Buzz's Bunch, Buzz Williams, the Head Mens Basketball Coach at Marquette hosts a group on individuals who have physical and/or developmental disabilities at a basketball camp in the summer and a Marquette game in the winter. This is our second year patricipating and it is a great experience. Not only for Tyler and the rest of my family, but also for everybody involved in the Marquette Mens Basketball program. From the office staff, to cheerleaders. From every coach to every player.
The summer camp is held at the Al McGuire Center. The players interact with the campers through the same drills that the players go through. When a camper achieves their goal, making a basket or completeing a drill, the joy in the camper is shared by the player. 2 summers ago, Coach Williams had a guess speaker, Mr D.J. Gregory. For those who are not familiar with Mr Gregory's story, he is a man with cerebal palsy who walked every round of every PGA tour event in 2008. http://www.golf.com/golf/tours_news/article/0,28136,1725450-1,00.html or http://www.cerebralpalsysource.com/News_and_Articles/pga-tour-cp-walk/index.html
This past summer, Coach Wiliams spoke of his hiring at Marquette. He told the story that he asked only 2 things of the University. First, that his family would be taken care of. Second, he wanted to have a basketball camp for individuals with special needs. He spoke with passion about the camp.
The camp has been a resounding success. The joy in the families eyes as they enter the Bradley Center is only the begining. I am sure that the people who pass out the tickets and the t-shirts are part of the basketball operations staff. You are greeted with a smile every step of the way. Once through the turnstyle, you are escorted to your seat by members of the cheerleading squad. Once you find your seat, you are escorted to Al McGuire Court. There you get to shoot a couple of baskets and hang out with the players. The players are all equiped with sharpies to autograph a Marquette basketball. Finally, there is a group picture taken of all of the campers with the coaching staff, players and cheerleaders. The campers are recognized during the game and they are shown on the scoreboard.
That's not all. It is my understanding that Marquette students donate their tickets for a game so that families may attend. Not only is the basketball program giving back to the community, but so are the students of Marquette University.
I find it appropriate, that in this season of giving, Coach Buzz Williams and the entire basketball program are leading by example.
Thank you to Coach Williams and everybody associated with Buzz's Bunch