Jackson, Tenn. - As good as the 77-60 win over No. 6 ranked Bethel University (Tenn.) felt on Thursday, November 17, the No. 13 ranked Saint Xavier University women's basketball team earned its biggest victory of the week earlier that same day. As part of its agreement for participating in this year's Jackson Rotary Classic hosted by Union University (Tenn.), the Cougars spent over an hour that Thursday meeting and visiting with disabled workers at the Madison-Haywood Developmental Services (MHDS) facility in Jackson, Tenn. The team spent the hour touring the facility, greeting the workers, taking pictures and even taught some of the workers a dance routine the team created called the "Cougar Leg."
"This was something I had the chance to do during my freshman year when we played in the Rotary Classic and I'm so glad I got the opportunity to do it again," said senior guard Michelle Tourtillott (Park Ridge, Ill./Maine South). "I wish we could go there every year. The workers really seemed to enjoy our company and it was so much fun meeting them."
The team even collectively signed the cast of one of the facility workers with a broken arm during the visit. The four freshmen players on the 2011-12 squad really found the experience to be both worthwhile and meaningful. It was clear that by the end of the visit both the workers and players gained some lasting memories. Freshman Suzie Broski (Rockford, Ill./Boylan Catholic) was particularly touched by the visit.
"It was a great feeling to put a smile on so many faces," said Broski. "It really made me realize how many things I take for granted in my life, like playing basketball and being part of a team."
MHDS is a private, non-profit agency dedicated to serving residents of Tennessee with disabilities. Its goal is to provide opportunities for independence through an array of community program choices. From simple to complex, MHDS assists people with disabilities by helping them acquire new skills, access services and contribute to their home communities.