In a continuing effort to recognize the accomplishments of student-athletes beyond the field of competition, the SEC once again highlighted a Community Service Team for women's basketball for the 2011-12 season.
This marks the 14th year for the SEC Community Service Team for women's basketball as well as for men's basketball. All 20 league-sponsored sports have had a Community Service Team since 2004, with at-large teams for men's and women's sports being chosen from 1999-2003. The SEC began this concept with a football Community Service Team in 1994.
Ericka Russell • Alabama
Senior • Guard • Tuscaloosa, Ala.
Formed the Russell Relief following the storms in April to assist local schools with supplies that were lost … Served as a summer league coach at basketball camp … Assisted with the team’s annual Fifth Grade Fastbreak program speaking with area fifth graders … Took part in the athletic department’s annual Halloween Extravaganza … Assisted with Project Angel Tree.
Julie Inman • Arkansas
Senior • Guard • Carlisle, Ark.
Book Hogs Read To Win Program (reading to area elementary students in Northwest Arkansas)….Sweat Hawgs Program (encouraging young people to get active)….Read to elementary kids at West Fork…Worked at several campus events for the SEC Together We CAN Canned Food Drive…Lift Up America, Feeding The Hunger In Northwest Arkansas (area food banks)…Made a visit to Happy Hollow Elementary: Spoke to the kids about making good decisions…Participated in the American Heart Association Walk…Butterfield Trail Village (retirement community) visit…Rocking with the Razorbacks…Habitat For Humanity Fall Festival; Jones Center…Book Hogs Pizza Party at Bud Walton Arena (for area youth)…Martin Luther King Youth Day Activities (celebrating a day of service with area youth)…Spoke at Root Elementary assembly: about making good decisions.
Blanche Alverson • Auburn
Junior • Guard/Forward • Andalusia, Ala.
Founded her own community service project, “Ballin’ for Books,” a program that will collect donated books at Auburn women’s basketball games and donate to area schools and learning centers… Worked as part of the Pine Hills Literacy Program… Participated in the Salvation Army Angel Tree program… Collected food as part of the Auburn United Methodist Church Food Pantry… Opened card doors and greeted students at Dean Road and Yarbrough Elementary Schools.
Kayla Lewis • Florida
Sophomore • Guard/Forward • Decatur, Ga.
Climb for Cancer Sports Camp (Gator athletes spend an afternoon with young cancer patients, participating in sporting activities)... Pediatric Walk Around... Stadium Tour for area youth... Math Tutoring-Williams Elementary... Habitat for Humanity... Shands Hospital Infusion Room Visit... Gator Charity Challenge... Shands Hospital Visit - Art Day for Valentine’s Day.
Jasmine James • Georgia
Junior • Guard • Memphis, Tenn.
Women’s basketball team’s representative on the Student-Athlete Advisory Committee…helped raise funds to purchase and then assemble 60 bicycles for worthy children at Christmas…Visited the Athens Boys & Girls Club as part of “Get Off the Bench” program which donated equipment to the club and then demonstrated the proper usage of that equipment…Assisted with “Adopt a Family” at Barrow Elementary,an Athletic Association partner in education… Read to local children including Malcom Bridge Elementary… Helped coordinate UGA’s participation in the SEC’s “Together We Can” initiative… Assisted with fundraising for the Northeast Georgia Food Banks.
Keyla Snowden • Kentucky
Graduate • Guard • Lexington, Ky.
Keyla Snowden has been very active in UK’s “Cats Who Care” community service program throughout her Wildcat career... She has volunteered to pack and deliver food for God’s Pantry BackPack program… Helped pack relief bags for UK’s Joplin Tornado Relief program… Participated in a local YMCA’s Fall Festival… Volunteered as a Salvation Army bell ringer during the holidays… Served as the Southern Hills 5K celebrity race starter… Participated in Lexington’s Fire Prevention Parade… Guest speaker at various local elementary schools.
LaSondra Barrett • LSU
Senior • Forward • Jackson, Miss.
Participated with the Lady Tigers partnership with the Greater Baton Rouge Food Bank during Christmas and January, helping put together a month’s supply of box lunches for kids… The Lady Tigers received the “Organization of the Month Award” in January by the Food Bank… Visited with patients at the Our Lady of the Lake Children’s Hospital in January, signing autographs and passing out t-shirts… Has actively read to elementary school children in East Baton Rouge parish throughout her career… Helped serve food to underprivileged children at a BREC football practice… Says Barrett, “Just being able to reach out and help is special to us. There are a lot of people and children out there in poverty and we need to recognize that we can all help. It’s great for us to work as a team for such a worthy cause.”
Nikki Byrd • Ole Miss
Senior • Forward • Brookhaven, Miss.
SEC Canned Food Drive... Operation Christmas Child... Ole Miss Holiday Basket... Angel Tree (Salvation Army)... Christmas Store... Boys and Girls Club Fundraiser... Tornado Clean Up... Jean Jones Walk... Reading With the Rebels... Oxford Food Pantry... Free basketball clinics... Fill a Holiday Basket... Special Olympics.
Brittany Young • Mississippi State
Sophomore • Guard/Forward • Birmingham, Al.
Outside of the team, she is one of the top point-getters on the squad in MSU’s M-Club, the University’s student-athlete community service organizations… Young is an active participant in Bully’s Book Blitz, an initiative in which MSU student-athletes read to students in local schools… She is also active with the program during MSU’s annual Halloween Carnival, and she also contributes each year as the Lady Bulldogs help make Christmas merrier for a local family through the community’s Adopt-A-Family program… Young is a regular at Starkville’s Compassion Food Pantry, and she has been a participant in the SEC’s Together We CAN Food Drive… An excellent student in the classroom, Young takes time out of her busy schedule each year to help paint Bulldog paw prints on the campus streets.
Courtney Newton • South Carolina
Senior • Forward • Flowery Branch, Ga.
Participates in several projects outside of the team, including coaching a Girls on the Run group at Epworth Children’s Home, serving as facilitator of the Read with the Gamecocks Program at H.B. Rhame Elementary, becoming a “Big Sister” and working various camps and giving speeches at the University of South Carolina and Hall County, Georgia chapters of Fellowship of Christian Athletes (FCA) … Spearheaded the start of a team bible study through FCA … Participated in various camps, volunteered at First Baptist Church of Columbia’s Thanksgiving Feed the Homeless, worked with local high school students on various service projects around town through Community Service Intervention Services, joined team in adopting five families through Christmas Family Adoption, helped raise money and awareness through the Walk to End Alzheimer’s in Columbia and worked with the Red Cross Telethon and Palmetto Children’s Hospital to raise money … Served on the Student-Athlete Advisory Committee for two years, serving as President this year.
Glory Johnson • Tennessee
Graduate • Forward • Knoxville, Tenn.
Reads at a day care center... Volunteers at Children’s Hospital...Works at West New Elementary School... Has worked with the Iraqi women’s basketball program, empowering and introducing them to the sport... Has also been involced with Habitat for Humanity during a local Extreme Home Makeover... Knoxville Humane Society Adopt-a-Pet drive... UT FCA Girls Night Out.
Tiffany Clarke • Vanderbilt
Junior • Forward • Duluth, Ga.
Serves as the team’s rep on the Student-Athlete Advisory Committee... Also serves as the Student-Athlete Advisory Committee’s Service Chair... Helped organize the athletic department’s holiday party, which hosted first graders from an East Nashville elementary school, providing them with presents and activities along with all of Vanderbilt’s athletic teams... Also helped organize a women’s basketball trip to visit patients at the Vanderbilt Children’s Hospital.