NAUGATUCK, Conn. – The Quinnipiac University men's basketball team heightened March Madness at Hillside Intermediate School in Naugatuck on Friday evening, as the Bobcats served as Special Guests at the fourth annual 3v3 March Madness Tournament.
Hillside Intermediate School began a tradition four years ago of hosting a basketball tournament for its students every March. A good portion of the student body takes part in this event that promotes exercise and positive self-image, while raising money for student council and vital school supplies. This tournament offers one of the few opportunities our students have to engage in autonomous team building and strategizing.
Quinnipiac Men's Basketball Assistant Coach Scott Burrell and Academic Advisor Alyssa Budkofsky, along with freshmen AJ Sumbry (East Windsor, N.J.) and Alain Chigha (Gainesville, Fla.) attended the event to lend a helping hand. Sumbry and Chigha served as head coaches for each participating team, while Burrell and Budkofsky each spoke to the children about the importance of studying hard in preparation for future endeavors.
"The NCAA had some exciting basketball games on Friday night and so did Hillside Intermediate School at their fourth annual 3v3 March Madness Tournament!," said Hillside teacher and tournament director Lauren Kulish. "Hillside's tournament is mainly about the players, but every game needs coaches, cheerleaders, a pep band, announcers, half-time activities, and a Cinderella story. The Eagles were lucky enough to have it all on Friday, along with Coach Burrell, AJ, and Alain attending this event to help coach the boys to victory."
At the end of the event, Burrell, Sumbry and Chigha handed out trophies and medals to each of the participating team members. After that, every player posed for pictures with Quinnipiac players and staff.
"Our students were so excited about the tournament that they were asking me about it back in December and the added surprise of Quinnipiac players showed the students that their efforts in athletics and academics can bring them far in their future. We can't thank Quinnipiac Men's Basketball enough for helping these ten and eleven year olds bring out the excitement of March Madness in their own school and town!"
About Quinnipiac Athletics' Positive Play Initiative
Quinnipiac Athletics' Positive Play initiative is designed to encourage student-athlete involvement in the community. Quinnipiac is dedicated to the promotion and development of service, service learning, experiential learning, and civic engagement programs and initiatives that involve students in the local community and challenge them to critically examine the role their service plays in cultivating personal development and social change.
About Hillside Intermediate School
Hillside Intermediate School is a positive learning community in which all students will meet their maximum potential. By providing an environment rich in social, emotional and academic experiences, all students will aspire to become lifelong learners.
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