Most days the teachers at Hendley Elementary are telling their students to keep their voices down. Not today. Today, in the courtyard, over 100 students ran out and were encouraged to “get loud” and “make some noise” as they officially set foot on their brand new outdoor basketball court. And it was LOUD.
The new court was made possible, thanks to the WNBA, Spalding, the MSE Foundation and all of the Mystics players, coaches and staff.
“This is a great opportunity to mix in fitness, fun, and sports in one giant project” D.C.’s Deputy Mayor, Brian Kenner said addressing the students on the court. “And it is right down the street from the new state-of-the-art arena that we are building right here in Ward 8.” The new arena just so happens to be the future home of your Mystics.
“What a great day!” echoed Mystics Head Coach, Mike Thibault. “One of our goals in being part of this community is to give back to kids…so that they can enjoy the game that we grew up playing.”
After Elena Delle Donne put in the first inaugural shot (making it official), students teamed up Mystics coaches and players, Tierra Ruffin-Pratt, Tayler Hill, Natasha Cloud, Tianna Hawkins, and Elena Delle Donne for a WNBA FIT Clinic. The clinic, which featured a series drills and exercises, had Hendley Hornets draining jump shots with Tianna Hawkins, running ladders and hurdles (and taking selfies), working on spin moves with EDD, and celebrating game-winning shots with TRP and Tayler Hill.
After working up a sweat, the students of Hendly got a chance to play reporter and ask the Mystics a few questions (Jr. Media Availablity!) One girl stood up and asked all the Mystics, “How many years were you in school?”
“Kindergarten through college,” EDD responded. “And every single one of us graduated.”
Before the students had to go back to class. Tayler Hill let them in on one last surprise. Every one of the Hendley students who participated would get two tickets to a Mystics game next season.
More importantly, the students of Hendley will have a great place to “get loud” and “make noise” for many years every time they step on the court to play some basketball.