With little free time, college student-athletes are an example for all of us by volunteering | JSonline.com

Games, practices, workouts, study, go to class, eat, sleep…repeat. But it’s so much more for the typical college student-athlete — and so much that adds to the value of the time spent in college. The following column is a great example of the value added when in the right situation.

Markus Howard was shocked to be sunburned. This had never happened before. He grew up in Arizona, his dad is African-American, his mom is Puerto Rican, he didn’t think it was possible to burn.

“That’s when I knew this work was serious,” said Howard.

The construction work, from sunrise to sundown in the heart and heat of Costa Rica, left Howard aching from head to toe and more exhausted than he’d ever been. He had lost weight, his hands were ripped up with cuts and his skin was scorched red.

But when he left? A rural village, with barely any electricity and no cellular phone coverage, had a brand new basketball court for the kids to use and the community to share, all built by the sweat equity of Howard and his fellow athletes.

“To be able to reach out to kids, who don’t have a lot, to see them so joyful and their spirits really lifted, it really makes me appreciate all that we have,” said Howard. “I came back looking at the world through their perspective.”

Howard, 19, a junior point guard on the Marquette men’s basketball team, joined 15 of his fellow athletes from Marquette for a week in Juanilama, Costa Rica, in May constructing, from the foundation up, an outdoor basketball court through a worldwide program called Courts for Kids.

This is a rural area, with wild monkeys, chickens and cows roaming free. Residents have simple bathroom facilities with little, if any, running water. Crushed gravel floors line modest houses, and meals are usually rice and beans. Cockroaches share the bedrooms with occupants at night. Howard washed the dinner dishes with a kind of homemade soapy paste.

A basketball court would provide growth opportunities for the kids and social gatherings for the community.

Read the entire article at JSonline.com.

Photo by Digital Buggu from Pexels

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