The Queens College women’s basketball team recently took time away from school and bounced over to the Samuel Field Y in Little Neck to participate in a two-hour session with a group of young, autistic children.
As part of the Y’s Basketball Buddies program, Queens student-athletes and coaches spent time with each of the children individually, learning their stories and teaching them basketball skills.
“Our relationship with the Samuel Field Y and the ‘Basketball Buddies’ program has been spearheaded by QC women’s basketball alumna, Jessica Sanchez,” said first-year Knights head coach, Bet Naumovski — who continued on an annual tradition of working at the Little Neck center. “It is an honor and privilege to continue this partnership, as it brings tremendous joy to both our players and the participants.”
Far beyond just an exercise in team-building, the event gave the girls of the Knights a chance to give back to the community and also reminded them how fortunate they are to play basketball in college.
“I sometimes take for granted being able to do the simple things in life, and this experience has reminded me of how fortunate I am to be a part of the women’s basketball team at Queens College,” said senior guard Lisanne Comeau. “Seeing the smiles on the children’s faces and knowing we made a difference is what made the experience worthwhile. Giving back to the community is what being a student-athlete is all about.”
The younger teammates also took a lot from the experience — and they look forward to doing it again next year.
“Spending time with these kids is such a great experience,” said sophomore guard Nicole Caggiano. “I cannot wait to come back next year. The looks on the kids’ faces when we were announced into the gym was priceless.”