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Basketball team visits nursing home residents

The residents of Jo-Lin Health Center got a visit from some unlikely Christmas carolers Tuesday morning.

The basketball team from Campbell Memorial High School spent the morning singing Christmas songs and passing out bags of snacks and oranges to the residents.

The team was in town to compete in the Ironton Classis.

Rather than doing a recreational activity like bowling, head coach Brian Danilov opted to have the students do something to give back to the community.

The coach said the experience helps the students learn how fortunate they are.

“You can always give something back,” Danilov said.

Community service is nothing new to the team, which does projects in their hometown in the Youngstown area.

“We feel like it’s really important to give back,” assistant coach Kevin Douglas said. “We try to teach the kids some responsibility.”

This is the second year for the tournament and the second year the team has visited the residents.

The residents had been looking forward to the team’s visit.

“They love it,” Kayla Carpenter, activities staff member, said. “You wouldn’t believe the response. They talk about it for months and months. It just lifts their spirits.”

Dean Nance, superintendent of Ironton City Schools, agreed.

“The people here love them,” Nance, who came along with the team, said. “When it comes to this time of year they start asking, are those basketball players coming back?”

While the residents enjoy the experience, so do the basketball players.

“I think it’s fun to come out here and help the people out,” Lester Hughes, a junior, said. “Last year we sang a few songs and it put a smile on their faces.”

John Sikora, a junior, echoed Hughes’ words.

“It’s nice just helping out, making their day better,” Hughes said.