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Shoot hoops; think higher ed

Ivy Tech gift of basketballs to Boys and Girls Clubs has dual purpose

By James Boyd 331-4307

boys and girls club
John Rochell, 9, plays with a new basketball at the Boys and Girls Club Monday afternoon. Ivy Tech Community College distributed 20 basketballs to the club in Bloomington, and many other local clubs were also recipients. More than 1,500 will be donated to clubs across Indiana. David Snodgress | Herald-Times

January 15, 2008

The goal of shooting a basketball is to get it through the hoop.

The goal of the Boys and Girls Club is to help its kids develop into outstanding citizens and help educate them.

Ivy Tech Community College helped merge the two ambitions Monday afternoon with the donation of 1,500 of basketballs to local Boys and Girls Clubs across Indiana.

Ivy Tech-Bloomington Chancellor John Whikehart was on hand to deliver 20 brand-new green and white basketballs to the local club.

The balls are in Ivy Tech’s school colors, and emblazoned with the college’s logo.

“Every time you see this logo, I want you to think ‘I’m going to college,’” Whikehart told an appreciative crowd. “And when you think about going to college, I want you to think of Ivy Tech.”

Dozens of eager kids crowded around a basketball rack, itching to get their hands on the new equipment.

After the photo-ops, the balls were let loose around the gymnasium.

Local Boys and Girls Club Executive Director Jeff Baldwin said the gifts were symbolic gestures that will mean a lot to the kids.

“They’re certainly going to enjoy the day-to-day activity of using the balls, but it’s much more than that” he said. “Our staff can use them as a reference point to help them with working to relate the importance of higher education.”

Whikehart said the idea to give out basketballs sprang from Ivy Tech President Tom Snyder’s trip to an Anderson Boys and Girls Club recently. There, he found kids without enough basketballs to play with. So he came up with the idea of distributing more than 1,000 balls across the state.

Many other local clubs were also recipients.

“Have a lot of fun,” Whikehart told the kids. “Remember, the goal in basketball is the hoop. The goal in life is to go to college.”