RICHMOND, Ind. – The Earlham College women's basketball team held a celebratory signing for Olivia Hunter from the Boys' and Girls' Club of Richmond last week.
Standing just shy of five feet tall, the nine-year old will be a valuable asset to the program this year. Her role will include more than just basic "water girl" responsibilities, but will also include participating in fun activities with the team to being involved in various practices and games in different ways.
"It feels good to become a member of the Quakers," Hunter said. "I'm very excited to watch them play and win!"
Hunter's mother, Coty Stinson, hopes this experience will continue to fuel her daughter's passion for basketball.
"This is going to be a great experience for her," Stinson said. "I want to see Olivia's excitement for the sport shine and hopefully she will want to continue to play basketball."
Members of the women's basketball team came up with the idea to adopt a child as a Quaker for the 2016-17 season.
"The idea of having Olivia involved first came about when our Adopt-A-Child subcommittee, consisting of Hannah Franklin, Sophia Richard, and Danielle Long, reached out to the Boys and Girls Club of Richmond seeking a young girl that would have interest in this role on our team," head coach Janel Iden said. "With no hesitation, Olivia was suggested as a representative from the club because of her love for the game."
Franklin, a senior and three-year starter for the program, had worked with the Boys' and Girls' Club of Richmond two summers ago, and reached out to ask for advice on who to adopt. Franklin felt the need to adopt a girl from the club because of her role as a female student-athlete.
"As women in sport, we want to be able to inspire young women to continue with sport through grade school, high school, and college," she said. "We wanted an elementary aged child because we thought they would get the most out of being a member of our program."
Hunter and the Quakers will open the 2016-17 season on Nov. 18 at the Washington & Jefferson College Tournament. Earlham will host Wilmington College in the home-opener on Nov. 29.