Members of the men's basketball team visited The University of Arizona Medical Center-Diamond Children's recently to share words of encouragement with kids in the hospital and to brighten their day.
This is the second visit a UA team has conducted in collaboration with "Shine On," a non-profit organization that provides services to help comfort families who have kids in the hospital. The UA golf team participated in the inaugural visit to hand out jars of fun items such as games and stuffed animals to make hospital visits less daunting.
The men's basketball team was happy to carry on the momentum with its visit. "It is a great feeling just bringing some happiness to some kid's day and even the parents," said Solomon Hill.
The student-athletes enjoyed talking to the kids about a variety of topics and were more than willing to help break up the monotony that sometimes comes along with an extended hospital stay. Patients and players conversed about topics ranging from how the hospital food tasted to their favorite television shows. Many people were excited to ask the student-athletes questions about the coming season.
In addition to delivering the jars to hospital patients, the student-athletes tried to leave a lasting impression with their words of encouragement. Hill encouraged patients to "stay strong" and to keep a positive outlook. "It just feels good that you can walk up to a situation and just make somebody's day," Hill said.
These visits are just one of the many projects UA student-athletes participate in throughout the year. Over the course of the past 12 months, student-athletes have volunteered more than 3,800 hours and are dedicated to having a continued presence in the community.