Second in the "Spotlight" - UNC WILMINGTON


UNCW soccer players Nicole Chambers and Ashley Watson collecting money for hurricane relief


Attending college near the coast, members of UNC Wilmington’s Student Athlete Advisory Committee (SAAC) are fully aware of the ramifications of a devastating hurricane. As a result, the group has been busy raising money to benefit victims of recent hurricanes Katrina and Rita.

In early October, the National Basketball Association’s Charlotte Bobcats played an intrasquad scrimmage at Trask Coliseum, capping off a week-long training camp. SAAC members solicited money at the entrances to Trask Coliseum with American Red Cross collection buckets.

“We don’t know how much we collected because the money is stored in official American Red Cross collection buckets, which we have to send directly to the organization,” said Kristen Mears, SAAC president, “but a majority of those who came to the game contributed and we will be able to make a substantial contribution.”

SAAC plans to host a “Battle of the Bands” in two weeks (Nov. 9) on the field near the tennis courts to also benefit hurricane relief efforts. UNCW’s athletic teams will be divided into three divisions - Navy, Teal and White - that will be represented by a specific band.

Those attending the concert will be asked to vote for a band by dropping money into a bucket. The band that raises the most money is declared the winner.

The money collected at the “Battle of the Bands” will also be forwarded to the American Red Cross.


UNC Wilmington’s Student Athlete Advisory Committee is doing its part to help clean up Wilmington’s road ways. The SAAC recently adopted a two-mile stretch of Interstate 40 just north of Gordon Road.

The student-athletes are responsible for cleaning up debris along that two-mile stretch once a month and then calling the pick-up hotline to collect the garbage. The clean up takes anywhere from one to three hours, depending on the amount of trash.

“We’re lucky to have a section of Interstate 40 that so many of our student-athletes use everyday,” said Kristen Mears, SAAC president. “It’s great that we can participate in keeping our roads clean.”

The men’s and women’s basketball teams cleaned the stretch of road in September and the men’s and women’s tennis teams will complete the clean-up in the month of October.


How do you spell community support? U-N-C-W A-T-H-L-E-T-I-C-S. This Thursday, three members of the 2005-06 UNC Wilmington men’s basketball team will join the fight against illiteracy in the Cape Fear Literacy Council’s 18th Annual Spelling Bee.

Seniors John Goldsberry, Beckham Wyrick, and Taylor Lay will participate in what has become a community tradition in Wilmington, where teams of three individuals work together to spell words out on transparencies for the coveted CFLC Spelling Bee Championship trophy.

The CFLC event will be held at 7 p.m. at the Scottish Rite Masonic Temple on 17th street. The event is open to the public. Admission is $5.

In recognition of National Literacy Month, the annual Spelling Bee is always held in September and is once again being underwritten by the Wilmington Star-News. The Spelling Bee usually consists of 20 sponsored teams who compete against one another, as well as several audience contests which offer prizes. On average, the project has raised around $10,000 a year through both team and corporate sponsorships. All of the proceeds go towards helping the CFLC continue its work in education.

Goldsberry, Wyrick and Lay are being sponsored by retired broadcaster and community supporter Wayne Jackson, who sponsored three women’s basketball players last year. Although the women’s team was knocked out in the first round, they still helped raise money to hire tutors as well as fund classes and a computer lab.

Jackson said that he wanted to sponsor a UNCW team for the Spelling Bee “to bring good publicity to the university, as well as help get the athletes out into the Wilmington community doing something fun that they might not have had the opportunity to do otherwise.” He expects the event to “be an evening of fun, helping the Literary Council raise money to continue its work.”

Head Coach Brad Brownell likes the idea of having his players challenged outside the basketball arena. “We’re excited that our guys are involved in this event. I know our program feels a big responsibility to give back and to get involved in the community.”

For more information on the event, call 910-251-0911 or visit


All of UNC Wilmington’s student-athletes recently attended a special program on domestic violence, dating violence, sexual assault and stalking presented by Lisa Savitts, a corporal with the university’s police department.

Sessions for the school’s male and female student-athletes took place on successive nights in the Golden Hawk Room of the Nixon Annex.

“We try to focus on creating an awareness of dating violence, sexual assault and stalking and how they as student-athletes can be role models with their behavior,” said Savitts. “Even as a bystander, they can be a positive influence by teaching others that dating violence and sexual assault will not be tolerated.”

Savitts hopes the sessions with the student-athletes are just a starting point for the entire campus. “We want to do more programming with the Greek organizations and general student population.”


Despite their age, UNC Wilmington student-athletes remember the pressures of middle school. They also realize they would not be where they are today had they given in to those pressures.

The Student-Athletic Advisory Committee sponsored a speaker’s bureau on Monday, Oct. 24, at Roland-Grise Middle School.

Twelve student-athletes addressed middle schoolers on the importance of staying drug and alcohol free, working hard, setting goals, and making education their top priority. The speakers shared their personal experiences with the students in hopes of making a difference.

“Because we’re student-athletes, people in the community know who we are,” said Kristen Mears SAAC president. “I hope that if they see us getting involved and trying to make a difference, they will try to do the same.”

Check back during the week of November 27 to see Georgia State in the spotlight!!!