Being a Bruins team member means more than just practices and games. In addition to training, practicing and competing, Bruins players often minister in outreaches in the Greenville community.
Christopher Gray, a junior sports management major and member of the men’s basketball team, has been participating in the Bruins outreaches for three years.
Gray said that he and other Bruins players travel to the Greenville Memorial Hospital to visit the children.
“I really enjoy going and seeing all the kids,” Gray said.
Gray said that being an example to the kids that he and his teammates get to meet is his purpose when serving in these outreaches.
“Just being a light to all the kids that we meet, being kind to them and showing Christ to them when we talk [is how we make a difference],” Gray said.
Gray said he has seen firsthand how their visits can brighten a child’s day by simply visiting him in the hospital.
Gray said he met one child at the hospital who was going through a lot. He had no desire to be active or eat. But when Gray and his teammates walked in, the boy greeted them with a huge smile.
Gray said that he and his teammates also enjoy giving Bruins gear to children as well as getting to talk to them about basketball and the Bruins team.
In addition to their hospital visits, the men’s basketball team had the opportunity to visit an elementary school when the team was in Ankeny, Iowa, for the NCCAA Division II National Tournament earlier this month.
Matt DeHart, a junior elementary education major also on the men’s basketball team, has been involved with the Bruins ministry outreaches for three years.
“I usually take the BJU basketball team to Brook Glenn Elementary in Taylors,” DeHart said.
DeHart said that he and the other Bruins players get the opportunity to talk about what it means to be a good student.
“We will read to classes or we will speak to a large group about what it means to stay in school and be a good student,” DeHart said.
DeHart said that these outreaches give kids from mostly low-income environments someone to look up to and identify with through sports.
“These kids just want to know someone believes in them, and God uses us to give those kids a lot of hope,” DeHart said.
DeHart said that besides witnessing and ministering to the children, his favorite thing is to see his teammates speak to large groups.
“The best thing to me when going to the outreach is to see the guys on the team who normally wouldn’t read in front of a group or speak in a large setting break out of their shell and really dive into the experience,” DeHart said.