Blessed are the Meeks
Published 1:51 pm Wednesday, December 31, 2014
Lady Warriors give back to community
The Nansemond River High School Lady Warriors demonstrated again this Christmas they are more than just a basketball team, and when they adopted a family in the community that could use some help for the holidays last year, it was not just a one-year arrangement.
Players from the team visited the Meeks residence on Christmas Day and showered the two children with gifts for the second year in a row.
“We probably doubled what we contributed to the family last year,” Lady Warriors coach R. Calvin Mason Sr. said.
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The contributions included toys, clothes and food.
NR senior power forward Annecia Woods described the reactions of Samantha and Joshua Meeks, ages 11 and 7, respectively, who are cared for by their grandmother, Roberta Meeks.
“They loved every gift we gave,” she said. “They were really thankful.”
Mason said, “They’re great kids who are just in a situation that they have no control over.”
The Lady Warriors are a lot more to the family than just a local basketball team, and that is exactly what Mason hoped for.
He is working to develop the girls, not just a basketball players, but as people and members of the community.
“We’re local, and we want them to understand it’s their community, and they can help build the community,” he said.
As far as how the Lady Warriors are viewed by others, he said, “I want them to be seen not just as basketball players but as people who want to help.”
And they help others in the community, each season, on a regular basis.
“It’s basically a part of what we do as a program,” Mason said. “We try to do community service projects each month.”
In October, team members participated in Making Strides Against Breast Cancer at Mount Trashmore Park.
The Lady Warriors have also volunteered time to provide assistance at Driver Elementary School’s Harvest Festival, Suffolk Parks and Recreation’s Lunch with Santa and Hillpoint Elementary School’s Family and Fitness Night.
Mason addressed the effect that helping others in the community has on his players.
“I think it has a tremendous impact on how they view their situation,” he said.
Nansemond River sophomore shooting guard Cassidy Simmons said helping those less fortunate than herself “just made me grateful and appreciative of what I have, and it felt good to help them out.”
Mason said while, of course, at times he has disappointment with the on-court performance of the Lady Warriors as he pushes for more consistency, he has never been disappointed with how they have approached the community service projects. They tackle them with zeal.