EVANSVILLE - Wood Memorial boys basketball coach Kevin Menke wants his players to know there are more important things in life than basketball.
That's not to say basketball isn't important to coach Menke or his players. However, giving back has become an important part of Menke's life lessons he's trying to teach his players.
"Every year I look for a way to give back," said Menke. "A way to do a team bonding experience."
The last couple years, Menke and his players have gone to the United Caring Shelters in Evansville.
"It's gone over really well," said Menke. "Last year we went and this year we went as well. We're actually going again [today]. My younger guys are going [today]. It's been great. The people there have been really welcoming."
Menke says his team brings ham, rolls, and this year the Trojans supplied canned goods.
"We basically cooked everything we brought," said Menke. "It's just a really neat experience for my guys. It allows them to get out and see that and appreciate what they have each and every day. It's just a good opportunity for those kids."
Menke says one man that is instrumental to his team's volunteer work at United Caring Shelters is long time Trojans' supporter, Jim Bob Edrington.
Edrington keeps the scorebook for both home and away games, not only for the boys' team but also the girls' team. Menke believes Edrington also keeps the book for many of the junior high games. Not only that, but Edrington has been doing that for 40 years.
"I didn't realize until [Thursday] but he's been doing this for 40 years," said Menke. "He's just an amazing guy. I've known him for years. He's a tremendous Christian man. He donates all kinds of time. He serves at that United Caring four to five time a week."
Menke says that one of the reasons he became a basketball coach and a teacher was for these teachable moments off the court that he hopes will affect their lives in a positive way.
"You can relate basketball with life," said Menke. "There are times when possessions doing go your way. There are times when life won't go your way. You've got to continue to put your best foot forward. People need help from time to time. This was an opportunity where we were helping others but we walked away feeling better about ourselves."