CHARLESTON, S.C. – Over the course of the 2018 summer and preseason, the Charleston Southern women's basketball team spent time volunteering and giving back to their community.
Senior guard Ke'Asia Jackson and sophomore guard Kelsie Ruff-Mills talked about their experiences giving back and what events stood out to them.
"This one particular (event that stood out) was called 'Chicktime,' and me and a few of the girls went over to hang out with another group of girls at dinner time," Jackson said. "They were pretty shy until we started playing music and dancing. After we started playing music, they couldn't stop dancing. That really put a smile on my face and their faces."
"It was so much fun," Ruff-Mills said of the team's event at the Charleston Joint Base. "We laughed, danced, taught them some basketball skills they could potentially implement into their game. We did a lit. It was so much fun."
Director of operations and CSU alum Elyse Kiploks also spoke about the team's experiences and how the squad grew closer through their time giving back.
"As soon as we started getting to the events, I think, not only does everyone have fun doing it, but they also understand the importance of it and how easy it is to save someone's life," Kiploks said. "
Each player on the roster spent at least 20 hours giving back through various events and helping many different organizations both individually and as a team.
Jackson also plans to continue her volunteer work even after graduation and her basketball career comes to an end.
"Later in life, I plan to give back to my community in Columbia, S.C. I think it'd be good for the kids because they need some type of guidance and it's always great to give back to the community," Jackson said.
The Bucs' list of organizations they teamed up with include Operation Christmas Child, Chicktime, Carolina Youth Development Center, Isle of Palms Cleanup Crew, Louie's Kids, Ronald McDonald House, Lowcountry Food Bank and the American Heart Association.
The team also learned hands-only CPR from the American Heart Association and have kicked off a campaign called '2Hands1Heart' where they will teach each athletic program on CSU's campus in an effort to spread the knowledge of hands-only CPR.
"I feel like the main thing we've realized (from all the volunteer work), is who works well with certain people and certain crowds. It's been really nice to see our girls step up and get involved," Kiploks said.