Frosh Basketball Serves EBMUD

Lindsay Wilson, Lifestyle Editor

The freshmen boys’ basketball team pulled invasive weeds as part of a community service project at the Upper San Leandro Reservoir on February 22.

Scott Hill, father of frosh player Aaron Hill, works for the East Bay Municipality Utility District, and recommended that the team participate in some weed abatement work around the perimeter of the Valle Vista Reservoir. Hill, Odessa Cuddihy, a mother of player Quinn Cuddihy, and coach Garden Travis, organized the event.

Travis encouraged the student athletes to get involved in serving the community. “I have always emphasized to my basketball players to participate in community service work,” he said. “We, as a team, believe in giving back to and serving our community,” Travis added.

This was the team’s first time participating in community service. Nearly everyone on the team worked on the project. 3 junior varsity members also participated.

From 11 to 2, the boys removed Genista Monspessuland, otherwise known as French Broom, from around the reservoir. The species is highly invasive, displacing native plants by consuming needed water.

The boys used a wrench tool to remove the plants. According to freshman Aaron Hill, the boys made a game of picking the weeds. “It was fun to compete to see who could pick the biggest weed,” he said.

After the boys worked for 3 hours, they had a barbeque in a nearby staging area. They also fished in the reservoir for about 30 minutes, but didn’t catch anything.

According to freshman Jordan Li, the players had a good time for several reasons. First, he felt that the community service was a “good thing to do” because it saved EBMUD employees from having to do it. “Instead of workers having to do it, we did,” he explained. Li also enjoyed feeling like they had helped the local community. “It feels good to do something beneficial for the environment,” he said.

Hill added that he liked the team camaraderie aspect of the volunteer work. “We wanted to do community service as part of Campo basketball,” he said.

Travis believed that the volunteer work was beneficial in more ways than one. “It served as a team building exercise and builds camaraderie,” he said.

Travis enjoyed the experience. He felt that it not only helped bring the boys together as a unit but also showed the importance of getting involved in volunteer work. “Overall, it was a very rewarding experience being outdoors, working together, and doing physical, manual labor removing a shrub that ecologically threatens the well being of the reservoir area. Plus, we had a team barbeque after doing our work, with many of parents joining us,” he said.

“It made everyone feel good that we were contributing doing our part to assist our community, as well as enjoying nature and the beauty that surrounds our community,” Travis concluded.