UD women's basketball volunteers with many organizations, including its FANtastic Flyer Club
DAYTON, Ohio – The University of Dayton women’s basketball team has been named the recipient of the 2010 Erin Ritchey Memorial Volunteer Service Award. The team will be recognized for their continued commitment and exceptional support to individuals with disabilities this Friday, April 30 at the Mandalay Banquet Center during a luncheon held from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m.
“We are nothing without our community,” said UD Head Coach Jim Jabir. “Our team is very fortunate and blessed and to be able to share that with the community is very important to us.”
The Flyers made history this season after earning UD’s first NCAA Women’s Basketball Division I Tournament berth and First Round victory. They had a season-high five players earn Atlantic 10 honors. These accomplishments indicate their excellent performance on the court, and this time around the recognition is for their commitment to the service of others.
UD assistant coach Kyle Rechlicz took the initiative to pair up the Flyer women's hoops team with the Montgomery County Board of Developmental Disabilities Services to start a fan club called FANtastic Flyers.
“The community service we’ve done is a direct effort that Kyle has brought with her from her playing days at Wisconsin,” said Jabir. “Our community service is also a direct correlation with the University of Dayton’s values.”
In addition to giving tickets to games throughout the season, the team held special events for the FANtastic Flyers.
Dayton held a “Spirit Day” to help kick off the season. During the event, members of the team helped fans make posters and pom poms, and signed autographs. The team also hosted a free clinic in which more than 180 special needs people participated. The participation more than doubled from the first annual clinic UD offered last year.
“This award is based off our service commitment to those with special needs, and also the continued commitment to this group,” said Rechlicz. “It is something our players really enjoy.”
The women’s basketball team also won the Flyer Challenge, a program to increase UD student-athletes’ involvement in NCAA CHAMPS/Life Skills, created to support the development initiatives of NCAA member institutions and to enhance the quality of the student-athlete experience within the context of higher education.
Finishing 25-8 on the year, UD also earned its first win over a Top 10 team in the season-opener against Michigan State and was ranked in the Top 25 for the first time in school history. Dayton graduates just one player and adds the OHSBCA Ohio Division I Player of the Year Cassie Sant of Fairmont.