COLUMBIA, SC - (WLTX) -- The impact of the University of South Carolina Women's Basketball National Championship win will be felt in the community for years to come, but perhaps not more than with our young people. The Boys and Girls Clubs of the Midlands is one of the places that may see the impact most.
14-year-old Abriana Mosely has played basketball on her school's team and at the Norman Arnold Unit of the Boys and Girls Clubs of the Midlands. Although she had to take this season off because of a surgery, the USC women's basketball national championship win has inspired her even more.
Mosely says, “If I keep playing and if I keep working hard, then I can eventually get a scholarship to college.”
Carter Clark with the Boys and Girls Club of the Midlands says the Gamecock win on the court has many lessons that will score off the court.
"You show up on time. You are respectful to your teammates. You're respectful to your coach or your supervisor, later on in life. You learn how to work hard. You learn how to deal with the successes, and the failures," Clark says.
Last year’s South Carolina Female High School Player of the Year, Jhileiya Dunlap, is a product of the Norman Arnold Unit. Clark says, "She came up right in there,” as he points to the basketball court. It’s also the place her younger sister, Jinyiah Dunlap, discovered basketball wasn't her thing; but it lead her to what was.
Dunlap tells News 19, “I started cheering and I started jumping here and I started doing all that. And that's when I started to cheer so I felt like they made me who I am today."
Who she is today is a 14-year-old cheerleader. Who she will be tomorrow is a journalist. That's why Clark says the national championship win is only part of what makes this team special. The team partners with the club to show these kids that anything is possible if you work for it. They give talks and provide family outings to games. Clark says it shows, "You work with your team. You set goals with your team. It’s all that communication. You are part of something bigger than yourself?”
But, perhaps there is something even bigger going on with Gamecock basketball. Ken Garner who is the program coordinator for the club says Frank Martin and the men's team loss in the final four is just as powerful a lesson.
"That loss will have a big impact for us because those kids are laying the foundation they might not reap the rewards right now. They have laid the foundation for years to come."
He says the kids at the club see the importance of that too...
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