Members of the Ohio Lady Hoops AAU teams got the opportunity to learn more than just basketball Wednesday night.
Coach Jamie Puryear organized the meeting at Zanesville Community High School to help teach his student athletes that success is not defined solely on the court. Various speakers addressed the students on topics like health, nutrition, the college experience, and how to become a stronger leader. Puryear said there is one simple message he wanted the athletes to get out of the session.
"To be the best that they can be. When they go to high school, I want them to represent their schools in the most positive way, and their families, and their community. I want them to be community leaders when it's all said and done."
Tri-Valley's Alivia Bash hopes to use the skills she's learned through AAU to help her be successful as she enters high school next year, both in the classroom and on the court.
"During AAU you learn so much," Bash said. "It's actually all about getting better, and putting in the extra effort. It's all about creating bonds with people you've never met, and just about being a leader for your team."
While Wednesday night's meeting focused on success beyond basketball, Puryear said his teams have had plenty of on the court success as well, with some teams winning their first championships after the third tournament.