College athletes connect with churches
Posted By: Elynor Moss on March 07, 2011 |
Philander Smith’s Brandon Bell (4) drives against Victory University’s Mario Jones. UMNS photos by Mike DuBose.
The Saturday basketball game did not go as well as the Philander Smith College team had hoped.
But the students and coach still could count on a warm welcome and a home-cooked dinner that night when they visited a local United Methodist church.
The students from the United Methodist-affiliated school in Little Rock, Ark., were greeted not just as basketball players but also as “Athletic Ambassadors.”
“It’s good when you are away from your home base to come to a strange place and meet people who want to make you feel comfortable,” said James E. Johnson, the team’s coach.
Project Athletic Ambassador, sponsored by the denomination’s Black College Fund, pairs local churches with teams from the 11 United Methodist-related historically black colleges and universities during away games.
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