ITHACA, N.Y. – Last week's trip by the Ithaca College women's basketball team to New York City wasn't just to play a non-conference game at Baruch College in Manhattan. The team also paid a visit to Madison Square Garden to meet with alums of Ithaca prior to its contest with Baruch and then headed north to the Bronx to help out at Public School 114 on Wednesday.
Before the Bombers' Jan. 19 tip-off with Baruch in the Gramercy Park section on Manhattan (East 23rd Street and Lexington Ave.), Ithaca went to the "World's Most Famous Arena" to tour Madison Square Garden and sit down with IC alums who currently work there.
Bryan Roberts, assistant dean of the Park School and women's basketball academic mentor, organized the meeting at MSG.
The team met with the following alums — Sharon Otterman (Executive Vice President, Chief Marketing Officer), Brendan Long (Director of New Business), Andrew Steedman (Account Executive, Subscription Sales) and Anthony Zucconi (Marketing Manager for the New York Rangers).
Ithaca then ventured downtown to take on the Bearcats and came away with a 75-54 victory.
On the morning of Jan. 20, the squad traveled to the Bronx to help out at Public School 114. Junior Shayna Gaskins' aunt is a teacher at PS 114 and her uncle is the athletic director.
The team met with kindergarten, first and second graders in a classroom setting, and ran through basketball activities with third- through fifth- graders.
The Bombers also held a question-and-answer discussion and went over the importance of being collegiate student-athletes. Along with that, Ithaca interacted with the PS 114 girls basketball team, who went undefeated last season and won its league championship.
"It was really awesome for us to have the opportunity to go to Ps 114 and get to spend the day with a large majority of the students," Shayna Gaskins said. "It wasn't just about sports, although that was a definite focal point but the fact that we were able to educate them on college, basketball and what it takes to be a student-athlete definitely meant a lot. We were able to implement skills to help them fine-tune their basketball repertoire as well as express to them how important it is for them to have a solid foundation education-wise. Overall, this was an amazing experience and we're really excited that we got to do this and leave a lasting impression on these kids."
This article originally appeared on the Ithaca College Athletics site.