More Than Softball: Team Visits Le Bonheur Children's Hospital, National Civil Rights Museum

OLEMISSSPORTSDOTCOM Julie Meyer, far left, Courtney Syrett and Allison Brown, as well as the rest of the Ole Miss softball team, visited the Le Bonheur Children's Hospital and the National Civil Rights Museum in Memphis.
OLEMISSSPORTSDOTCOM
Julie Meyer, far left, Courtney Syrett and Allison Brown, as well as the rest of the Ole Miss softball team, visited the Le Bonheur Children's Hospital and the National Civil Rights Museum in Memphis.
OLEMISSSPORTSDOTCOM

Jan. 23, 2014

OXFORD, Miss. – The Ole Miss softball team does not open its season until Feb. 7, but in many regards, the Rebels have already won the day.

In its trip to Memphis, Tenn., to visit the Le Bonheur Children’s Hospital on Jan. 16 and the National Civil Rights Museum on Jan. 20, Martin Luther King Jr. Day, the softball team participated in a pair of events greater than itself, and is the better for it. In the eyes of head coach Windy Thees, being a college student-athlete is more than just putting on a jersey and competing throughout a season. For Thees, student-athletes are role models who should be looked at for their work on and off the field.

“Being an Ole Miss Rebel, you’re automatically in the spotlight for what you do athletically and in the classroom,” Thees said. “Our athletes are looked up to by a lot of people. It was great to go somewhere where these kids are fighting battles a lot bigger than what we fight on the field. Whether it was one young man who just had brain surgery, others fighting to overcome diseases, or some kids who had been in the hospital for two weeks. To be a healthy athlete, you go there and realize what a gift you have each day just to be healthy, and also say, ‘Alright, I’m going to win this one for some of these kids who won’t be able to play sports in the future.’ ”

On Jan. 16, Ole Miss visited the children’s hospital and played games such as HedBanz, Uno and Connect Four with the kids, and also drew pictures with them with crayons. Half of the team was also able to tour one of the floors of the hospital and go room to room to say hello, give them an Ole Miss softball and put a smile on their faces.

“Some of the kids wanted to play, some just wanted to be held,” Thees said. “They were all ages, from babies all the way up to 16-18.”

“It was really rewarding,” said junior third baseman Allison Brown. “I used to do this kind of stuff in high school, but doing it here there is such a bigger purpose because you’re at a university now and you have ‘Ole Miss’ on your shirts. They see that and they know what that means. It makes it feel so much more special. You’re doing this for the university, it’s not just for yourself to do it. The biggest thing was seeing their faces light up when they saw who you were, even if they don’t watch softball or anything. They saw Ole Miss and that was cool.”

Brown worked at the game center part of the hospital with the kids and said it was wonderful to simply cheer them up and serve as an escape for the kids where they could be themselves and not have to think or talk about why they were there.

“I’m glad I’m doing something that’s bigger than myself,” Brown said. “It’s no longer just about the name on the back of my uniform. It’s about the name on the front. That’s who I’m representing. I’m representing this university, and for those kids to look at me and say, ‘Wow, that’s a great role model at a great university,’ and not just ‘a great individual.’ ”

Following their visit to the Le Bonheur Children’s Hospital, the softball team visited the National Civil Rights Museum for training in preparation of their work at the famous museum on Martin Luther King Jr. Day four days later.

The team helped at the museum Monday with everything from keeping the flow of traffic running smoothly throughout the museum, to working ticket booths, to standing in front of exhibits making sure people didn’t sit on them or damage any of the actual exhibits the museum has to offer.

“Martin Luther King Day is such a special day all around the country, but especially in Memphis, because it’s right there at the Lorraine Motel,” Thees said. “I wanted our kids to see there are struggles people fight that are, again, bigger than what’s on the softball field. It was really great for our kids to go there.”

Brown agreed and said she also enjoyed helping the visitors, even if it was something as simple as giving directions or answering a question.

“It was very hectic,” Brown said. “But it was cool to see a bunch of different people coming together celebrating a person who has done so much for us.”

So while the season still sits two weeks away, the Rebel softball team has already recorded a pair of wins in events beyond the field, and has shown that at Ole Miss it’s more than just softball.

“It shows we care about the community, we can reach out to them and we have time for them also,” Brown said. “We’re not only consumed with softball. There are other priorities in our lives that we want people to see we care about.”

For all Ole Miss softball news and information, go to OleMissSports.com and follow the Rebels on Twitter at @OleMissSoftball and on Facebook at Ole Miss Softball.

  • 07/15/2014 - Rebel Ready

    Shackelford Nominated for Allstate AFCA...

    For the second straight year, Ole Miss' Deterrian Shackelford (Decatur, Alabama) has been nominated for the Allstate AFCA Good Works Team®, which is one of the most coveted and prestigious off-... Read More [+]

    07/10/2014 - Rebel Ready

    Bramlett Selected To NCAA SAAC

    Ole Miss baseball player Brady Bramlett was selected to represent the Southeastern Conference as a member of the NCAA Division I Student-Athlete Advisory Committee (SAAC). Bramlett's appointment... Read More [+]

    07/09/2014 - Rebel Ready

    Track Volunteers with Horizons Summer...

    The Ole Miss head track coach Brian O'Neal and assistant coach Greg Stringer opened up the Manning Center for the participants in Ole Miss' Horizons Summer Learning program on Wednesday (July 9).... Read More [+]

    06/27/2014 - Rebel Ready

    Rebels Volunteer with Horizons Summer...

    The Ole Miss women's basketball team opened up the Tuohy Center and put the participants in Ole Miss' Horizons Summer Learning Program through some drills on Friday (June 27) morning. Read More [+]

    06/16/2014 - Rebel Ready

    Nall Begins Year-Long Internship With NCAA

    Mary Ashton Nall grew up around intercollegiate athletics, specifically college football. Her father, Hugh, played football at Georgia and coached at Ole Miss and Auburn. From competing in the NCAA... Read More [+]

    05/19/2014 - Rebel Ready

    Nall, Nichols Make SEC Community Service Team

    Ole Miss seniors Mary Ashton Nall and Alex Nichols were named to the 2014 Southeastern Conference Community Service Teams for women's and men's track and field, respectively. Read More [+]

    05/06/2014 - Rebel Ready

    Ole Miss Athletics Assists With Tornado...

    Ole Miss Athletics delivered a 35-foot trailer stacked full of donations on Monday to help storm victims around Mississippi. Read More [+]

    05/02/2014 - Rebel Ready

    Ole Miss Gathering Aid For Mississippi...

    Through the Rebel Relief Project, Ole Miss fans and area residents will have the opportunity to donate household and clothing items for tornado victims across Mississippi at various locations in... Read More [+]

    04/15/2014 - Rebel Ready

    Ole Miss SAAC Hosting Shoe Drive

    The Ole Miss Student-Athlete Advisory Committee (SAAC), is partnering with Purshoeing Joy to collect used shoes for children in Guatemala. SAAC members will be collecting shoes at Friday's (April... Read More [+]

    04/02/2014 - Rebel Ready

    Special Olympics Tennis Event Held At Ole ...

    Ole Miss hosted the Special Olympics tennis event at the Gillom Sports Center Wednesday. The event was sponsored by the North Mississippi Regional Center. Read More [+]

    • Ole Miss to Hold #YearOfTheFan Twitter Scavenger Hunt Thursday

      Wednesday, May 23, 2018 - Athletics

      Thursday, May 24 is National Scavenger Hunt Day. It also means that kickoff for the 2018 season-opener against Texas Tech in Houston, Texas, is 100 days away. To celebrate, we are hosting a Twitter Scavenger Hunt that will allow... read more

    • Rebel Golf Gears Up For NCAA Regional

      Saturday, May 12, 2018 - Men's Golf

      A year ago was a different story for this Ole Miss men's golf team, who made it through a regional in Austin, Texas and all the way to the stroke play portion of the national championship for the first... read more

    • Rolison, Golsan Power Rebels to 5-4 Win Over Auburn

      Thursday, May 10, 2018 - Baseball

      More often than not this season, Ryan Rolison's outings have gone as his fastball command has with the success of the former and latter mirroring one another. On this night--a crucial 5-4, series-opening win over Auburn, which elected to... read more

    • Rebels Roll Over Pine Bluff, Head To South Carolina This Weekend

      Wednesday, May 2, 2018 - Baseball

      Ole Miss did not lose an out-of-conference baseball game at Swayze Field this season, cementing that note with a 10-3 drubbing Arkansas Pine Bluff on Wednesday.The Rebels are 23-2 in non-conference games this season with one remaining in two... read more

    • Dillard's Three-Run Blast Propels Rebels To Series Win Over LSU

      Saturday, April 28, 2018 - Baseball

      The pitch was undetectable as it hummed in at 85-miles-per hour out of the hand of LSU pitcher David Fontenot towards an awaiting Thomas Dillard in the bottom of the seventh inning of a 7-6 ballgame LSU led. Fotenot... read more

    • Rowe's Three Hit Night Powers Ole Miss To Win Over LSU

      Thursday, April 26, 2018 - Baseball

      A grin spread across Tim Rowe's face as he stood in left field speaking to a group of reporters. These were the types of nights he envisioned going into a season that's seen some hurdles pop up in his... read more

    • Rebels Clobber Arkansas State, Remain Unblemished In Midweek

      Wednesday, April 18, 2018 - Baseball

      Unblemished in midweek games in 2018, Ole Miss' maturity and sense of focus surfaced again in the form of seven runs in the first two innings in a 10-3 bludgeoning of Arkansas State to move to 11-0 in such... read more

    • Rebels Return Home For Four-Game Week

      Tuesday, April 17, 2018 - Baseball

      With an eight-game road trip in the rearview, Ole Miss plays its next nine games in the state of Mississippi with back-to-back weekends at home to jumpstart the second half of SEC play. The Rebels dropped two of three... read more

    • Five Takeaways From The Grove Bowl

      Saturday, April 7, 2018 - Football

      Ole Miss held its annual Grove Bowl on Saturday, marking the culmination of spring football as the team breaks for the summer until the resumption of fall practice. On a wet and chilly afternoon inside Vaught-Hemingway Stadium, the defense... read more

    • SIDEBAR: Ole Miss Finds Rising Star in McPhee-McCuin

      Friday, April 6, 2018 - Women's Basketball

      Yolett McPhee-McCuin's name consistently trickled into the conversations that Ole Miss Vice Chancellor for Intercollegiate Athletics Ross Bjork had in his pursuit of a new face for his basketball program.Eventually, she became the frontrunner in Bjork's mind, and on Friday... read more

    • Corral Discusses Progress As He Settles Into Longo's System

      Wednesday, April 4, 2018 - Football

      Matt Corral's first taste of spring football has gone by quickly. From the natural adjustments any kid going from high school to college has to make, to the amplified speed of the game to trekking across the country from... read more

    • Rebels Set To Battle Pair Of Rivals In Four-Game Week

      Tuesday, April 3, 2018 - Baseball

      After blazing through a stretch of seven games against top 15 opponents at 5-2, No. 3 Ole Miss is now facing a week in which it will play teams it is extremely familiar with and teams it considers its... read more

    • Weisz Qualifies for World Championships

      Monday, April 2, 2018 - Rifle

      Normal 0 false false false EN-US X-NONE X-NONE /* Style Definitions */ table.MsoNormalTable {mso-style-name:"Table Normal"; mso-tstyle-rowband-size:0; mso-tstyle-colband-size:0; mso-style-noshow:yes; mso-style-priority:99; mso-style-parent:""; mso-padding-alt:0in 5.4pt 0in 5.4pt; mso-para-margin:0in; mso-para-margin-bottom:.0001pt; mso-pagination:widow-orphan; font-size:12.0pt; font-family:"Calibri",sans-serif; mso-ascii-font-family:Calibri; mso-ascii-theme-font:minor-latin; mso-hansi-font-family:Calibri; mso-hansi-theme-font:minor-latin;} Ole Miss rifle alum Alison Weisz... read more

    • Rebels Notch Series Win Over Fifth Ranked Arkansas

      Saturday, March 31, 2018 - Baseball

      OXFORD, Miss - Four-innings of offensive infused chaos was extinguished over the final five outs by the right arm of Parker Caracci. A marathon of a baseball game culminated with the sophomore's second multi-inning save in as many nights... read more

    • Feigl Neutralizes Hog Bats As Rebels Even Series

      Friday, March 30, 2018 - Baseball

      One through nine, there is an argument to be made that Arkansas possesses the most potent lineup in the Southeastern Conference. Seven of its nine hitters are batting .320 or better. Every hitter but one has an OPS of... read more

OFFICIAL STORE