On Tuesday, May 23rd, I had a surreal experience when I toured the University of West Georgia campus with 17 eager and excited student-athletes. The campus tour was nostalgic because I graduated from the University of West Georgia in the Fall of 2011. As we toured, I realized that the campus I was so familiar with had changed.
Basketball Brotherhood and Sisterhood members arrived at the newly renovated Murphy admission office at 9:45 am and they were warmly welcomed by the UWG Admissions staff. After a brief introduction, the tour began. Throughout the tour, student-athletes asked good questions. The most frequently asked questions pertained to campus living and the rules associated with campus life. We had an opportunity to visit a freshman dorm. This dorm could house 2 occupants. Both Brotherhood and Sisterhood members were surprised by how nice the dorm rooms looked. They expected the dorms to resemble what they had seen in movies and TV shows, dirty and old. These dorms were the complete opposite. While viewing the dorms, I begin to reflect on my own campus living experience. I couldn’t recall my stay at Downs Hall dormitory looking and smelling as good as the new and improved freshman housing.
After touring student resource center and housing, everyone had worked up an appetite and were excited to view one of UWG’s two upscale dining halls. Unfortunately, we were not able to eat inside East Commons Dining Hall we toured, but the admissions tour staff reserved a ballroom within the Campus Center for us to enjoy delicious pizza from the East Commons Dining Hall.
We concluded our tour at the UWG Center for Diversity and Inclusion. Director of Diversity Education and Community Initiatives, Ms. Deirdre H. Rouse, organized a panel of college students, who were involved in many different campus activities, to discuss life on campus and answers any questions related to the college lifestyle at the University of West Georgia. Brotherhood and Sisterhood members were amazed at how much freedom and responsibility college students have and shocked to find out that college is challenging. Each student on the panel agreed that you must eliminate distractions and work hard to achieve the primary goal of graduating with a four- year degree. I was highly impressed with the panel of UWG students. They did an outstanding job speaking to members and shared great personal stories that hopefully motivated members to excel in high school and college.
Once the tour concluded and we said our good-byes, members had an opportunity to visit the UWG Coliseum. The Coliseum hosts men’s and women’s basketball and volleyball. Upon arrival, we were greeted by the head coaches of both basketball programs, Coach G and Coach Cooney. We visited the locker rooms of both teams. Coach G and Coach Cooney then enlightened us with what they look for during the recruiting of future UWG Wolves. This I felt was the biggest eye-opener for the members, who all aspire to play at the collegiate level.
The UWG College-bound tour was an amazing experience for our members. These student-athletes had a brief encounter with college life and learned the amount of work that it takes to be a successful student first, then an athlete.