The Times West Virginian

January 3, 2014

FSU players serve lunch at local soup kitchen: PHOTOS

By Mike DeFabo
Times West Virginian

FAIRMONT — You’ve seen Fairmont State’s basketball team serve up bounce passes, assists and jaw-dropping alley-oops.

Thursday the Falcons were dishing out something much different — and much tastier — when the team visited the Sobrania Inc. Soup Opera.

“We talked as a team about the community and how well Fairmont supports us. We just wanted to go out and give back to the community a little bit,” said junior guard Chase Morgan. “We got to spend some time with people who really didn't have much and tried to put a smile on their faces.”

The Falcons prepared chicken noodle soup, peanut butter sandwiches, salads, beverages and desserts for about 80 people. They also gave away some T-shirts and took time to visit with lunch-goers.

Coach Jerrod Calhoun, who was initially reluctant to talk about the event in an attempt to keep it under wraps, said he hopes to teach his athletes about more than just basketball.

“We didn’t know that (the Times West Virginian) would be there. We didn't do it for publicity,” he said. “We did it out of the kindness of our hearts.

“I think it’s very important when you're mentoring young 19- to 22-year-olds — trying to make them into

men — to get them to understand there’s life outside of basketball. Our program is not just about wins and losses. It’s about teaching our guys to get out in the community and interact with people and learn to help and give back. ”

Morgan said that the team was welcomed by all of the lunch-goers, but one in particular stood out.

“There was this cute little girl. She was probably only 4 or 5, and she was happy as could be that she had people coming up and talking to her and communicating with her,” he said. “She just took up with (assistant) coach Paul (Molinari), and they were like best friends. I really think she enjoyed our company today.”

Calhoun agreed.

“It was great to see and meet so many different people,” he said. “The holidays to me are all about giving and all about being thankful. I think this was a great way to give back and be thankful for things that we have.”

Email Mike DeFabo at timeswv.com or follow him on Twitter @MikeDeFaboTWV.