Cambridge Bobcat athletes are all “C” students. No, we’re not talking about their academic grades, we are talking about their commitment to Competition, Classroom, and Community, the three Cs.
While commitment to competition and classroom seem rather obvious for student athletes, the commitment to community takes a bit more effort.
The Cambridge High School basketball team demonstrated their commitment to the third C this summer by volunteering as a group for a community service project with Habitat for Humanity. For two Saturdays, members of the team spent several hours helping to build a Habitat for Humanity house in Cambridge.
“When you are a part of something, part of Cambridge City Schools and the Cambridge basketball program, you have the ability to give back,” Cambridge basketball coach Andy Slaughter said. “That is very important to us - our program, our district and our kids. They learn that giving back and helping those in need when you are capable is an awesome thing to do.”
The basketball team got involved with Habitat for Humanity by chance, Slaughter said.
“We’ve been looking for some kind of an organization to work with in town,” Slaughter said. “When Mr. Quinn became athletic director, he started talking about the three Cs and one of those is community.”
After driving by a construction site an seeing a Habitat for Humanity sign, Slaughter decided to reach out to the local organization and a partnership was formed.
“So, we go out there for a couple of days and put in some work,” Slaughter said. “It let the boys learn some real-life skills and do some things that are a little different than what they’re used to doing in their everyday life.”
According to a few of the participants, the work was pretty hard, but pretty meaningful.
“Normally, I wouldn’t want to do that type of work around my house, but I actually kind of wanted to do that,” said junior Cole Parsons. “When I showed up, I was like this is alright because I’m helping people.”
The work included some skill development like framing of walls and a lot of grunt work like carrying and dumping 5-gallon buckets of shale alongside the foundation.
Junior Caleb Bond noted the importance of communication and teamwork that was needed on the job site, a point that was emphasized when a wall wasn’t properly attached and fell over.
“We put a wall up and no one nailed it down, so it fell off the side,” Bond said. “It was pretty heavy to lift back into place.”
Coach Slaughter acknowledged how certain skills used on the work site translate to the basketball court.
“They did some problem solving, developed some critical thinking skills,” Slaughter noted. “It’s really good to apply those skills in real life situation as opposed to in a classroom or gymnasium. It’s good for the guys to have to work in concert at a place where they are not used to doing those things.”
The players also noted that it is special to drive by the house they worked on and know they had a part in building it.
“I like riding by and knowing that I helped build it,” freshman Colton Slaughter said.
His father and coached agreed.
“Yeah, it’s cool to drive by that house, see what is going on, and know that we played a role in that house being built,” coach Slaughter said. “That is something they can talk to their kids about and say they helped build that house. Plus, it’s a memory that goes beyond basketball and school.”
Coach Slaughter also shared that the house is located within the school district and is going to a family whose children attend school in the district.
“It is good for our kids to learn the overall satisfaction of doing something good for someone else when they’re not getting paid to do it,” Slaughter added. “They’re not getting anything out of it except for intrinsic rewards. Things that we can feel on the inside.”
Which is one of the reasons Athletic Director Aaron Quinn talks about the three C’s.
"As a department, we stress the importance of our coaches and players giving back to the city of Cambridge,” Quinn said. “Our boys basketball team donating their time and talent to the Habitat for Humanity is a great example of our student-athletes giving back to their community."
The basketball team is planning to be involved with Habitat for Humanity again next summer and is planning to take on some other community service projects including visiting the elementary schools in the district to read with younger students and helping out with the after school program by leading activities and playing games with the students who attend.
And while Cambridge is proud of all their students, they are particularly proud of the “C” students.