BIRMINGHAM, Ala. – The Birmingham-Southern men's basketball team spent its time not only preparing in the gym, but in the community as well for this year. The Panthers have participated in a series of projects around the Birmingham area to impact the community this offseason.
"One of the primary goals of our program is to build men of character," said Head Coach Chris Graves. "One of the important character traits we are aiming to develop in our Panthers is a life of service to others. BSC basketball has always been about more than just winning championships."
As a part of the Bundle of Hope's Stuff the Bus Diaper Drive, they collected around $300 and 1,000 diapers. Their efforts helped the entire drive collect 135,000 diapers, 10,000 over its original goal.
Local elementary and middle schools also take advantage of the Turn the Page with Coach Graves reading program. Each week, members of the team visit 1-2 schools to speak with students about the importance of reading, academics, and character. They have traveled to several different schools so far this year. The program also rewards students who read five books with a ticket to a BSC basketball game. As of this article, nine schools have submitted reading logs with over 400 readers completing more than 2,000 books.
The Panthers plan to continue the reading program through the fall semester. And in the spring, they will host an Autism Awareness game, raising funds for the Autism Society of Alabama. That game is scheduled for February 5 when they take on Hendrix at 3 p.m.