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Marquette Wire

The student news site of Marquette University

Marquette Wire

The student news site of Marquette University

Marquette Wire

Marquette making an impact off the court

Marquette women’s basketball partnered with University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee to host a free basketball clinic Sept. 9. (Photo courtesy of Marquette Athletics.)

In the heart of Milwaukee, the Marquette women’s basketball team is making more than just plays on the court. The team makes it a goal to improve the lives of others around them.

“It’s really good to connect with the kids in local communities,” sophomore forward Charia Smith said. “We get to know them and talk with them on a personal level, which is really fun.”

Through basketball, Smith said she has been able to become a mentor in the Milwaukee community.

It’s given me a good platform in a way. Just being an athlete here at Marquette, people look up to us as athletes and what we say and how they perceive us is very important,” Smith said. “Using that platform in a positive way to spread information about justice and reform.”

But it’s not just about speaking out. It’s also about giving back.

This year, Marquette has participated in community service events within Milwaukee.

The team had a “Try-it” clinic with Big Brothers Big Sisters and Wisconsin Adaptive Sports Association to play wheelchair basketball. Marquette also participated in a “Rise-Up” Mentor program with WASA.

Marquette went to St. Rose Catholic grade school in Milwaukee for a day of reading, something they are looking to do more times throughout the year.

The Golden Eagles plan on returning to the Ronald McDonald House to prepare breakfast for children in need.

One of the team’s annual initiatives is a free basketball clinic in partnership with University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee, which took place in September this year. Smith said this is her favorite way the team connects with the community. 

“We go into a park, and whoever is able to show up they can just come through,” Smith said. “It’s like our own skills camp, but it’s for free and it’s just a really fun time to give back.”

The team has plans to expand the way in which it serves the neighboring communities. 

They will be participating in “Adopt-a-Family” for the holiday season through NextDoor, an early childhood education center. They will also be doing the “Read to Me” program Nov. 30 with NextDoor, where athletes will have the chance to read with a student.

Along with upcoming tutoring sessions and serving meals to the Milwaukee community with StreetAngels, the Golden Eagles plan on continuing their acts of service.

Senior guard Rose Nkumu said that head coach Megan Duffy is a big part as to why the team gives back. She has not just been a leader on the court, but also a good role model in the Milwaukee community. 

Coach Duffy has a great understanding of what goes on outside of what just happens on campus and what happens around us,” Nkumu said. “She gives us the opportunity and platform as athletes to come and talk about any issues that we need to talk through and just express our feelings.“

So while Marquette is hitting shots and earning stops all season long, know its impact on Milwaukee goes beyond the Al McGuire Center.

This article was written by Dakota Barnes-Rush. He can be reached [email protected] or on Twitter/X @DakotaRushMU.

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Dakota Barnes-Rush
Dakota Barnes-Rush, Sports Reporter
Dakota Barnes-Rush is from Milwaukee, Wisconsin but lives in Miami for 9 years. He's majoring in journalism and is a sports reporter for the Marquette Wire. Outside of the Marquette Wire he enjoys watching the NBA, YouTube and hanging out with friends. Dakota is most excited about learning more about each individual sport he covers. He believes the more he knows about the sport the more successful his stories will be.

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