SUNNYVALE, Calif. - On behalf of the city of Sunnyvale, Mayor Melinda Hamilton presented the Santa Clara University athletic department and its women's basketball program a certificate of appreciation for outstanding community service at their city council meeting last week.
The recognition stems from the Broncos' participation in the 16th annual Sunnyvale Basketball Shoot Off, held at the Columbia Neighborhood Center on Friday February 5, 2010. Santa Clara student-athletes took time out of their basketball season to volunteer at the event. In all, 330 youngsters participated. 177 youngsters were invited to the finals.
"For the past 16 years Sunnyvale's Department of Public Safety has hosted a basketball shootout event in order to promote the importance of physical activity for school children throughout the local community," said Hamilton. "The Santa Clara women's basketball team was a very special addition to the festivities. As we know college athletes provide excellent role models for children, exemplifying positive values, the attainment of both athletic and scholastic goals and the importance of physical health as an integral part of a person's development and well being."
The Santa Clara women's basketball team is setting the standard for community service within the framework of intercollegiate athletics. SCU head coach Jennifer Mountain, her coaching staff and student-athletes partner with over 15 community organizations alone through their 'Bronco Community Challenge' initiative. The team also works closely with the Bay Area Women's Sports Initiative (BAWSI) and helped raise over $4,200 for the American Red Cross Haiti Relief and Development Fund in January.
"It is our mission at Santa Clara to give back to the community and I can't think of a better way than through a program I actually used to oversee," said Santa Clara Associate Athletic Director Staci Gustafson about the team's involvement in the Sunnyvale Shoot Off. Gustafson spent four years working for the City of Sunnyvale Parks and Recreation department. "It is really important to give back to our community, so we appreciate (the city) continuing the basketball shootout and continuing to impact young lives."