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Alumni help host camp for National Girls and Women in Sports Day

To end the day, campers got to form a tunnel for UNK players to run through as they were introduced against Newman. Photo by Traeton Harimon / Antelope Staff

UNK women’s basketball coach Drew Johnson sent out a message earlier this week. He was looking for volunteers for a camp in honor of National Girls and Women in Sports Day.

He found just the group to help.

“All of the alumni got reached out to by coach Drew,” said former Loper guard Debra (Johnson) Pazzelli. “I instantly was like, ‘Yes, I want to come be a part of this.’”

Pazzelli and four other Loper alumni, alongside former UNO player Linda Roh, jumped at the chance to help host a basketball camp for girls between third and eighth grade on UNK’s campus.

The camp, held in Cushing Coliseum, had about 40 attendees. Campers were put through various basketball drills including layup lines, ball handling, passing and more.

Not only did the camp provide the chance for players to hone their skills on the hardwood, but also allowed the campers to attend UNK’s matchup against Newman later in the afternoon.

There, campers were be honored and were a part of the announcement of starting lineups, forming a tunnel for players to run down.  Also included was a pink T-shirt with “Girl Power” written across the front accompanied by the Loper logo.

Throughout the camp, one thing stood out to the alumni about their campers.

“Just seeing all the girls and the smiles on their faces,” said former Loper guard Jade (Meads) Brown. “That’s the No. 1 thing is not just creating awareness for women’s sports, but for Kearney women’s sports.”

National Girls and Women in Sports Day is an annual day of observance that originated in 1987 when President Ronald Reagan signed Proclamation 5606. Since then the day has been observed every year. This year marked the day’s 38th celebration.

“It’s just awesome being able to come back and just pour into this program more,” said former Loper center Brooke Carlson. “It’s super fun to just give back to a generation of girls that are super excited and love basketball.”

Photos by Traeton Harimon / Antelope Staff

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Traeton Harimon
Traeton Harimon, Sports Editor
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