LSUS college athletes give kids a boost with High Five Fridays

LSUS’ athletic director believes a small act can be a big deal for young students.
Published: Sep. 8, 2023 at 5:36 AM CDT
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SHREVEPORT, La. (KSLA) - LSUS’ athletic director believes a small act can be a big deal for young students.

On Friday, Sept. 8, Louisiana State University Shreveport (LSUS) athletes are joining students at University Elementary to give out some high-fives and hellos. The program began last year in 2022 and is becoming popular. Many Caddo principles have been reaching out to have their kids receive high fives from student-athletes.

The LSUS Athletic Director, Lucas Morgan feels like the interaction could make a big difference in children’s lives.

“We’re trying to get them to understand that just doing a simple thing like that, like going out to a school and spending 30 minutes in the morning interacting with kids, could make a big difference in their lives because now they’re seeing an opportunity for what they can do once they finish school,” says Morgan. “They could go be a college basketball player if they wanted to. They could go get their education paid for. And I think that’s some of the things that we’re really trying to get out to these kids is just to show them what their future can be.”

The program began because the athletic director’s son was always excited and happy to hang out with the players from different teams. Children are usually inspired by athletes and even see them as their heroes.

Charlotte Schmidt, student-athlete with the Lady Pilots, feels good about the positive impact she could be making.

“Having a good feeling about creating a positive environment in the mornings for the kids to come to school and just like the looks on their faces and the smiles that they have whenever they see us,” says Schmidt. “So I think like by creating a positive like outlook on their day, they just like, they’re have a better mood in the mornings and they just wanna get through their day and then it like makes ‘em look forward to coming back to school.”

“I always feel have a good feeling about it afterwards, being able to create a positive environment in the mornings and just like kids like look forward to Fridays, and then they come and they see us and just, it’s a good positive start to their day,” says Schmidt. “We have lots of kids come up and they’d ask like, oh, what sports do you play? Do you play in college? How is it? And they just, it’s, it’s cool to get asked that question and have kids look up to you.”

“Their eyes pop open, they’re excited. They, they aren’t expecting it. And I think that’s one of the things that we really like the most about it, is that they don’t know in advance that our student-athletes are gonna be there,” Morgan describes the moment the children meet the athletes. “So when they show up and they help out the car and there’s a six foot seven basketball players standing there greeting ‘em and, and slapping hands with them, I think it starts the day out and it gets ‘em a little bit of excitement.”