Saints Give Back Through BlueShield of Northeastern New York "Saints in the Community" Program

Men's basketball's Patrick Cole reads to students at Brighter Choice School for Girls

Jan. 21, 2014

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LOUDONVILLE, N.Y. - Over winter break, student athletes and coaches from the Siena Basketball teams participated in Siena Athletics' BlueShield of Northeastern New York "Saints in the Community" program. As part of the program, the Saints made visits to 10 Capital Region area schools while the schoolchildren made a reciprocal visit to the Siena College campus for women's basketball's annual "Kid's Day" game.

During the school visits, the Saints preached the importance of hard work and strong academics while also interacting with students through games and basketball drills. The Saints spoke to what it takes to not only be a Division I athlete, but how to succeed in any field you wish to pursue. Hard work, academic achievement, good sportsmanship and effective time management were amongst the topics discussed. At the conclusion of the visits, the Saints took time to sign autographs and present the students with some special Siena Saints memorabilia.

A total of 1,906 fans - nearly all of which were schoolchildren and their teachers - turned out for the Fourth Annual BlueShield of Northeastern New York "Kid's Day" Game when the women's team hosted Monmouth at the Alumni Recreation Center Jan. 13. During the game BSNENY, with the help of student athletes from the men's team, ran on-court promotions with the students geared towards making healthy choices and also had its Healthy Zone cruiser in attendance.

Siena Athletics' 10 Adopt-A-Schools for the 2013-14 academic year include Albany schools Albany School of Humanities, All Saints Catholic Academy, Brighter Choice School for Boys, Brighter Choice School for Girls and Philip Schuyler Achievement Academy. Additional schools include Forts Ferry (Latham), McNulty Academy Elementary School (Amsterdam), Orenda Elementary School (Clifton Park), St. Mary's Academy (Hoosick Falls) and Zoller Middle School (Schenectady).

The Adopt-A-School program was not the only volunteer effort that the Siena Basketball teams participated in over break. The men's team helped raise money and awareness for childhood cancer through the Albany's Flashes of Hopes Fashion Show while the women's team volunteered at SAFE (Sports Are For Everyone), a non-profit organization that engages those with special needs to build self-esteem, confidence and friendships through sports. Both teams also gave back to a Siena Community which has given so much to them by volunteering at a local soup kitchen.

About BlueShield of Northeastern New York

BlueShield of Northeastern New York is a division of HealthNow New York Inc., one of New York's leading health care companies that provide access to quality health care and innovative solutions for members throughout upstate New York. Headquartered in Buffalo, NY, the company's is an independent Licensee of the BlueCross BlueShield Association.