When Elijah Burns was considering Siena for grad school, one of the draws was his ability to give back to the community he grew up in. The Troy native extended that mission to his team Monday. The Saints held a basketball camp at the Troy Boys and Girls Club for a couple dozen kids.
“It just means so much to me to be back home, to be able to be around the kids in a place that I grew up playing,” Burns said.
Head Coach Carmen Maciariello said it was a priority for him to support Burns’ desire to give back. Plus, the session showed his other players the importance of community.
“How we can be great mentors and leaders,” Maciariello outlined the lessons his team could learn. “And how we always want our guys to do the right thing when no one’s looking.”
Burns has that part down.
“Just be a light in the community. Not a lot of people are doing great things all the time, so to be someone that’s doing well and trying to better themselves is important.”
The energy in the gym was uplifting, with lots of laughter and high fives to go around. The college players helped the young kids shoot, coached them through dribbling drills, and encouraged them to come out of their shells.
When asked what was learned, one little girl said to “never give up”.