Fiji members at WWU assist in Mexico tournament

It’s the little moments that count. For the William Woods University
chapter of Phi Gamma Delta (Fiji), those little moments are found in the
smiling faces of children at the annual Mexico Underdawg Youth Basketball
Tournament in Mexico, Mo.

A group of Fiji brothers recently spent their Saturday
helping parents from the Mexico community host their fourth annual basketball
Each year, around 10 members of the Fiji chapter attend the
tournament to help parents of children in grades 3-6 work their tournament. Fijis
help referee games, run score boards, keep stats, work the front desk taking
money and registering the basketball teams, and play basketball with the kids.
Fijis who assisted at the tournament were Scott Barker,
Mexico, Mo.; Mitch Beck, Jefferson City, Mo.; Shawn Claypool, Jefferson City,
Mo.; T.J. Green, Brandon, Miss.; Calvin Hawkins, Wentzville, Mo.; Andrew
Housewright, St. Louis, Mo.; Derrick Hunolt, Hermann, Mo.; Corey Samples,
Sainte Genevieve, Mo.; Jake Shaw, Lebanon, Mo.; and Jon Williams, Windsor, Mo.
“I volunteered last year and had a great time so when we were
given the chance to sign up again, I made sure I was on the list because it’s
probably the most fun I’ve had doing community service,” said Hawkins.
Altogether the chapter contributed 81 hours of community
service doing the project.
Four years ago, the Fiji brothers got involved when Jeff
Smith of Mexico, Mo., an accountant and 2010 WWU graduate, asked his fraternity
brothers to help his mom, Liz Smith, organize the tournament.
“When we first got involved with the tournament, there wasn’t
a lot of community involvement, Jake Shaw, chapter president, said.  “Each year we’ve gone back, though, there have
been more and more members of the community looking to get involved and help in
any way. The amount of teams that come to play every year increases too.” 
Green added, “It was a great chance to help the children and
have a fun time while doing it.”
“When I was first asked to help, I didn’t really know what to
expect, but I had a lot of fun doing it and can’t wait to do it next year,”
Barker said. “I’ve always wanted to be a referee so when I was asked to do it,
I was really excited. I live and breathe basketball so I was a great experience
for me.”
Shaw hopes to keep the tournament an annual tradition for the
Kappa Chi chapter.
“It’s something that international headquarters really likes
us doing,” he said. “There are a lot of different community projects Fijis do,
and this is kind of our own little personal one.”
Members of Phi Gamma Delta at William Woods University assist
each year with the Mexico Underdawg Youth Basketball Tournament in Mexico, Mo.