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Badgers inspire youth at BGC shootaround

Special promotional content provided by the Boys and Girls Club of Dane County

Photo by Omar Waheed.

Back on the court but not for a conference game, the Wisconsin Badgers Men’s Basketball team came to the Dane County Boys & Girls Club to inspire local Madison youth to pursue their dreams.

The Dane County Boys & Girls Club hosted the Badgers at its Allied Family Club, 4619 Jenewein Rd., Fitchburg, yesterday evening to shoot around with kids in the community and teach the importance of hard work, pursuing their goals and teamwork. Four players came out to shoot hoops with 17 children and show them that they can accomplish their dreams through dedication.

“It’s huge having people that you can look up to and seeing them in your daily life,” said Badgers forward Tyler Wahl. “To see those role models, and people that they see on TV, and see us outside of our sport but also being able to have fun with people you look up to.”

Badgers guard AJ Storr built on Wahl’s sentiments of being a role model for kids and his own experience looking up to college athletes.

“As a little kid I looked up to college players. Us being here has been helpful to the youth — I’m just trying to be an impact,” Storr said.

Storr and Wahl were joined by fellow Badgers John Blackwell and Nolan Winter as the group ran through stations with the kids and taught them to shoot. The players capped off the time by giving the children jerseys and imparting words of wisdom on how they too can achieve their dreams.

For the players, it starts with role models and confidence.

“The number one thing we come into these spots is building confidence because I know it’s something that everyone really struggles with,” Wahl said. “Having that situation where you have people that you look up to… and having them give you a high five and some words of encouragement and honestly just give them the time and show that you are really cared about helps — not just in the basketball world.”

This story has been updated to correctly identify John Blackwell.