Stepping out on the hardwood at William Neal Reynolds Coliseum, a group of middle schoolers from across North Carolina were showered with cheers and applause from a sold-out crowd.
Just five months ago they were on this very court, practicing and playing alongside the Wolfpack Women’s basketball team.
On Sunday, these Touchstone Energy Sports Camp Scholarship winners — who were selected by North Carolina’s electric cooperatives to attend the NC State Women’s basketball camp this past summer – came together for a reunion and a moment of recognition.
“Sophie had an amazing experience at basketball camp last summer and was so excited to be recognized on the court alongside her fellow scholarship winners and attend her first women’s college basketball game,” said Denise Hodes, whose daughter Sophie was selected for a camp scholarship by Monroe-based Union Power Cooperative.
For more than 20 years, North Carolina’s 26 not-for-profit electric cooperatives have awarded scholarships to young women to attend the Wolfpack Women’s Basketball Camp.
These scholarships cover all expenses at the overnight camps, which provide a glimpse into life on a college campus, and what it takes to be Division I athlete.
The instruction and coaching these students received is top-notch, as the Wolfpack Women’s basketball team is currently ranked third in the nation in the most recent Associated Press Poll.
Sharing the court with players and coaches of this caliber provides lessons and knowledge that these student-athletes can bring back to their teams and communities.
“This scholarship winner reunion game is such a great way to celebrate the achievements of these incredible young women and is an unforgettable experience for the campers and their families,” said Nelle Hotchkiss, senior vice president and chief operating officer for North Carolina’s Electric Cooperatives. “Co-ops across North Carolina are rooted in the communities they serve and continue to generously give back to their members through initiatives like this one.”
Along with the Wolfpack Women’s Basketball Camp, North Carolina’s electric cooperatives also partner with the UNC Men’s Basketball team to send middle school students to their annual Carolina Basketball School each summer.
Applications for both basketball camps open on Jan. 1.
To learn more about North Carolina’s electric cooperatives’ support for basketball camp scholarships and other youth initiatives, visit our community site for important dates and information.