Players Visit 2 Schools, Share Stories and Skills With Students
Vista, CA | November 3, 2017 — In late October, members of the San Diego State University Women’s Basketball team made visits to VIDA Middle School and Olive Elementary School. Aztec players spoke with students about the importance of good nutritional and fitness habits, before leading classes in a number of exercises that the team uses in their own training.
The visits were part of a new relationship between SDSU and WaveCrest Cafe, the Nutrition Services department of Vista Unified School District. In addition to Aztec players visiting schools throughout the year, certain sporting events will offer complimentary tickets to elementary and middle school students in the district.
“It’s a wonderful opportunity to have student athletes who are competing at the highest level come and share their stories and skills with the students of Vista Unified,” said Director of Child Nutrition Jamie Phillips. “Not only do our students love to have that interaction, but it offers us different ways to engage with students about nutrition and fitness and the roles that they play in our ability to learn and excel.”
VIDA students were treated to a visit from Aztec players Khalia Lark (6’0” Senior Guard from Irvine, CA), and Cheyenne Greenhouse (5’11” Senior Guard from Riverside, CA) as well as Aztecs Director of Player Personnel Paris Johnson, herself a record-setting SDSU basketball player who played professionally overseas for six years before joining the Aztec staff.
The players shared personal stories of recognizing the impact of nutrition on their athletic and academic pursuits, while Johnson explained some of what the team is doing in terms of nutritional education and training for the team.
After that the three ran VIDA students through the paces of several practice drills, encouraging students to stay active and persevere through things that may be challenging. At the end of their time the Aztecs took questions ranging from their favorite basketball players to how they’ve battled obstacles.
Added Amy Haessly, Nutrition Education and Training Supervisor for Vista USD and a Registered Dietitian, “To have a respected athletic program like SDSU come and share their practices with our students is fantastic! From the ways they encourage their student athletes to eat and train, to how those practices enhance their learning, our students get to see that the same things we encourage them with here are in practice at a place like SDSU.”
Less than a week later, Johnson returned to Olive with five more players, joining all 4th and 5th graders on the outdoor playground. Aztec players at Olive were: Kenedi Villa (6’0” Freshman Guard from Oakland, CA), Tre’a Adams (5’9” Guard from Kirkland, WA), Lexy Thorderson (6’0” Guard/Forward from Castle Rock, CO), Kiara Edwards (6’1” Forward from Surprise, AZ) and Baylee Vanderdoes (6’1” Forward from Auburn, CA).
Starting at 8:30AM, the players asked students if they’d had a healthy breakfast to mixed response, before encouraging all students to make sure they have “the most important meal of the day.” The players explained the need for bodies and minds to be properly fueled in order to achieve the best results.
After sharing stories about nutrition and fitness, the drills started in again, with students stretching, participating in speed and agility drills, and finally switching off between left and right handed dribbling. The SDSU guests took questions from students before joining them at recess for spirited games of basketball, foursquare, wall ball and tetherball. Olive students, despite their height disadvantages, played confidently.