Thousands of students from Murfreesboro City Schools descended on Murphy Center recently for the 10th annual “Education Day” game — and were treated to top-notch performance by the hosting Lady Raiders women’s basketball team, who defeated the visiting Florida A&M Rattlers 93-48 on Nov. 9.
The annual Education Day event is a way for MTSU and the Lady Raiders to partner with Murfreesboro City Schools to bring the excited fourth through sixth graders to campus for a Division I college basketball game and small sample of college life.
“The annual education game day field trip gives Murfreesboro City Schools students in fourth through sixth grade the opportunity to visit the athletic side of the MTSU campus and see student athletes at their best,” said Trey Duke, MCS director of schools and an MTSU alumnus.
“Our partnerships with MTSU creates opportunities for our students and staff. Students are experiencing new connections to education each time they are on the MTSU campus which is integral to their future choices and decisions.”
As the “Education Day” title alludes, the game put an emphasis on just that for the roughly 2,800 MCS students in attendance.
Each timeout, MTSU Athletics Marketing held friendly competitions with either teachers, students or a mix “that involves them using their creative skills, listening, and or critical thinking skills,” said Chelsea Floyd, associate athletic director for marketing, fan engagement and licensing for MTSU Athletics.
Floyd said that the Murfreesboro City School Administrator of the Year and Teacher of the Year were recognized as they delivered the game ball to the officials to start the game.
This year, MTSU Athletics honored Black Fox Elementary School by granting them a check for $10,000 that can be used for mental health initiatives. The funding was provided by the College Football Playoff Foundation and presented on behalf of MTSU’s Student-Athlete Advisory Council which will work in part with the school to utilize the money, Floyd added.
Lady Raiders head coach Rick Insell said he also appreciates the partnership with Murfreesboro City Schools and the memories created for the attending students inside the Glass House.
“It is special for us to be able to share what we have with the community, the elementary school kids,” Insell said. “We are very appreciative of our partnership with the city schools, and to play a game like this is meaningful for everyone involved. Some of those young ladies out there today will become their heroes and some will bring their moms and dads to the next game and fall in love with basketball the same way I did.”
The Lady Raiders, who had three players score in double figures, are 9-1 in Education Day games. Courtney Whitson, who scored 22 points in tying her career high for three pointers (six), told goblueraiders.com:
“It’s always one of those special moments, because you realize that you are playing for those people in the stands, the little kids, to hopefully spark a light in them that they want to play basketball. It’s a much bigger platform than we realize on a day-to-day basis.”
With the win, MTSU became the 25th NCAA Division I Women’s Basketball program to hit 1,000 wins in program history.
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