SANTA BARBARA, Calif. – The UC Santa Barbara women's basketball team has been very active in the community recently, making sure that local fans can get a chance to meet the team and the new coaching staff.
This past weekend the Gauchos were part of the Fragile X Basketball Bonanza at the Page Youth Center to help raise autism awareness. The UCSB team was presented with an honorary award for being a part of the day's events.
Joining the Gauchos at the event was Congresswoman Lois Capps and District Assemblyman Das Williams, as well as Santa Barbara City and Santa Barbara County Fire Departments, the Santa Barbara Sheriff's Department, the Santa Barbara Police, California Highway Patrol and the Special Olympics.
This was just one of many things the Gauchos have been doing in the community lately under new head coach Carlene Mitchell. To see a photo gallery of the Gauchos in the community, please click here.
"With how our program was established, everybody wants a hands-on approach and they want to know the student-athletes outside the court and we feel a responsibility to give back to the community," Mitchell said. "What Mark French and Cori Close did in the community, we want to bridge that gap. I said we'd do it when I was hired here and I want to follow through on that."
Recently the team went to the Montecito YMCA to teach youngsters skills and give them basketball lessons and the team also held the A-OK After School Program to help bring the game of basketball to kids. At both of these events, the Gauchos helped the kids develop basketball skills and taught them several important factors about the game.
Also, the team has made appearances at the Maravilla Senior Living Community to speak with the elderly and join them for a fun-filled day.
All of these events fall under the Dare to Be Great umbrella at UCSB. UCSB's athletics teams make a very concerted effort to be visible in the community and give back to those who support them. This is part of the Gauchos Give campaign.
For every home game at UCSB, nearly 1,000 free tickets are available for organizations in the Tri-Counties to attend a game. For more information on group tickets and how your organization can get to a UCSB athletic event, please click here.