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Bluefield College student-athletes, coaches serve community on MLK Day

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MERCER COUNTY, W.Va. (WVVA) - Snow blanketed the ground a few inches deep in Princeton on Monday. It's the kind of day that might make someone bundle up and stay at home.

But not the Bluefield College athletics department.

"We could have easily stayed home on our couches -- in our dorms -- and not participated and not done anything today," head men's volleyball coach Alfonso Alvarez said. "But that's not us. That's not who Bluefield College athletics wants to be."

Four Rams squads volunteered on this Martin Luther King Jr. Day. Alvarez's group spent the day sorting and hanging clothes and the Princeton Salvation Army.

"We want to constantly be out in the community, doing things -- and what better way today as we celebrate a great American," Alvarez continued.

"He provided such an important message and really paved an important path for the African American people -- and not just us -- but everybody," junior setter Terrell Boston said.

This day of service held even more meaning for Alvarez and his team, as he has built the roster with players from all over the world.

"We all come from various, different backgrounds and to all come together as one means a lot," Boston said.

"We're always learning about the different culture, just within our group, and how we respect one another -- and how that can manifest itself out in the community, as well," Alvarez explained.

Down the road in Bluefield, the women's basketball team fixed up dozens of meals to be distributed at the Union Mission.

The Lady Rams haven't been able to participate in as many community and service events as in years past, due to the COVID-19 pandemic. And so, today was a welcomed and valued opportunity.

"Just being able to do something, get out and actually be in the community and see people smiling actually enjoying themselves -- that makes me enjoy myself," Crockett said.

For head coach Corey Mullins, the day's work served as a reminder, to him and his team, about the good that can come from sport.

"I think so many times we can get kind of caught up in what is important to us -- but big picture to understand that you can use sports as a platform to serve," he said. "It's just been a great team effort and I've enjoyed the day."

Nick Dugan

Sports Director

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