Fever Players Do Noble Work For Clinic

July 24, 2007
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    Kasha Terry interacted with the participants.

    Kasha Terry and Alison Bales got ready to demonstrate their skills.
    Indiana Fever players Alison Bales and Kasha Terry participated in a Be Smart - Be Fit - Be Yourself basketball and fitness clinic on Monday, July 24, with developmentally disabled adults from Noble of Indiana, and school-aged kids participating as partners for the adults. The overall event was led by physical education specialists from Indiana State University, with Bales and Terry taking turns demonstrating the various drills, aiding the participants and speaking on the importance of education, staying healthy, staying fit and being yourself.

    The staff from Indiana State University played a key part in making the clinic a success. Using their expertise, they not only led the participants through daily activities, but they also kept everyone engaged and excited. Dr. Jolynn Kuhlman and her ISU staff started the clinic by giving the floor to Bales and Terry as they led the group in stretches. A series of basketball drills followed as they incorporated fitness exercises such as jumping-jacks, push-ups and crunches to display that fitness can be fun and rewarding at the same time. Bales and Terry helped the group with each drill and exercised with them while providing encouragement.

    Before sitting down to talk, Terry led the group in a fun game of “Land/Sea.” This game required the group to listen closely and jump over a line on the basketball court from the “land” to the “sea” on the leaders’ instruction. Terry tried to fool the participants into making the group leap to the wrong area. Bales joined with a few of the adults to help them with this game. Bales and the adults both seemed to enjoy the game and it challenged everyone to listen closely and follow directions.

    Bales and Terry then led a group discussion on the importance of taking care of yourself and staying in school. Terry started the discussion by asking the group: “We know what it takes to be healthy, but what do you think it entails?”

    Answers ranged from eating well, getting enough rest, exercising and participating in various activities. All were good answers and the group seemed to understand that it takes a variety of living habits to keep a person healthy and in shape. Terry also spoke on how important it is to accept yourself for who you are and to not accept defeat. She explained that although it is harder for some people to do things, it is always important to keep trying and to always have a positive attitude.

    After the discussion on wellness and education, the group got a chance to ask the players questions. Responding to question regarding her favorite basketball memory, Bales answered: “The one that stands out in my mind was senior night at Duke. It was my last home game and we played our biggest rivals, University of North Carolina. We won the game and it really completed my college career.”

    She added that although that is one memory that stands out, she continues to create new memories for herself while playing with the Fever. Bales and Terry then signed autographs and thanked everyone for coming.

    Noble of Indiana is an organization that has a mission of creating opportunities for people with developmental disabilities to live meaningful lives. They currently have a new program titled “Bridges to Success.” The program entails teaching school-aged kids about individuals with disabilities and learning to accept them. This was enacted in the event by having a child partner with each adult present while helping them through the drills.

    As part of the WNBA’s Be Smart - Be Fit - Be Yourself initiative, the Fever conducts monthly fitness clinics during the season. Fever players and coaches teach children the value of staying healthy, eating right and maintaining a positive attitude. The program gets kids active in a number of exercises and basketball drills, in addition to games, contests and book readings. The clinics are held at local schools and after-school programs for kids of all ages.

    - Sara Rodewald