Sometimes basketball can reach beyond the court. With no games scheduled over a seven-day stretch late in the season the Sioux Falls Skyforce took time to circulate in the community.

Being in the Sioux Falls Schools and interacting with students were a major priority for both players and coaches. On Monday, Coach Nevada Smith and guard Ike Nwamu went to Pettigrew Elementary School with the goal of giving their fifth grade students an idea of what it takes to become a professional athlete. The teaching aspect is nothing new to Nwamu as he was in the Masters program at UNLV for Special Education.

The entire team including players and coaching staff gathered for a Tuesday event at Garfield Elementary School to read with students. Call it a modified mentoring program as the adults would be in a small groups with the children to address education on a personal basis.

According to Sioux Falls Skyforce Director of Sports Media Relations Matt Dykstra, he describes their Wednesday event again involving the whole squad. “We will be serving lunch at the Union Gospel Mission, something that has become a bit of a tradition over the last couple of years.”

One final event in the works comes Friday March 24 as Coach Smith and two or three players will be featured at a school assembly. “This program is centered around goal setting, perseverance, and controlling our emotions in the face of adversity,” says Dykstra. “They will be having an awards ceremony where the players will be handing students certificates followed by a few testimonies on how hard work, goal setting, and perseverance got our players to where they are today.”

Four games remain in this year’s regular season. The impact from serving the community in these various ways will extend much longer.

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