AU opens game to future fans: 5th-graders from local schools

Published: Dec. 8, 2022 at 5:43 PM EST
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AUGUSTA, Ga. (WRDW/WAGT) - Thousands of Richmond County kids got to watch the Augusta University men’s basketball team in action Thursday.

The cheers roared as thousands of local fifth-graders got into it as the Jags faced off against Bowie State.

It was not only a chance to give students a chance to enjoy a game but also to learn more about Augusta University.

The bleachers were filled with students, teachers and some families who were excited to be at the game.

One of the teachers there was Shikara Willis, who works at Charles T. Walker Magnet School and was recently named countywide teacher of the year.

“My students thoroughly enjoy coming out to the college, celebrating with the Jaguars having an awesome time,” she said.

But it’s more than just a fun basketball game.

“It’s a good educational experience for the students,” Willis said. “They’re introduced to the sports life of college and our goal is to promote lifelong learners.”

It’s why the Richmond County School System district brings students from all 33 elementary schools to Christenberry Field House.

“Bringing these kids to a college campus getting to see what the atmosphere is exposing them to this,” said Scott McClintock, director of athletics with the school system. “And hopefully those kids, even though they’re only in the fifth grade, this gives them an early look at what college is like and what it can be.”

As the students danced, stomped and cheered, the Jags’ coach says he hpopes they’re thinking about the potential of being an AU Jag one day.

“A lot of these kids have never been to our campus,” said coach Dip Metress, who added that their enthusiasm helped his team secure a victory. “They’re hopefully future students, and maybe a future player.”