With just three days until the Russell Athletic Bowl, players from North Carolina and Baylor took time away from the field to play some different games. Both teams visited the Give Kids the World Village in Kissimmee, where they got to dance, play basketball and hoola-hoop with children facing life-threatening illnesses.
“To be able to come out here and see some smiles on some children’s faces here at the Village is incredible,” North Carolina head coach Larry Fedora said. “To see those kids smiles, that’s what it’s all about. To be able to bring a smile to someone else’s face is critical.”
Give Kids The World is a non-profit organization that provides those children and their families from around the world to experience a memorable, joyful, cost-free visit to the Central Florida attractions, and to enjoy the magic of Give Kids The World Village for as long as there is a need.
“I think for both teams its a great chance to just get out and feel normal,” Baylor head coach Art Briles said. “You never get to feel normal during football season so its awesome to get out and get around people that have different goals in life. It’s really refreshing to come out and see these kids and their parents.”
Players from both teams joined together to play games, paint faces and put smiles on kids’ faces.
“This isn’t about us, it’s about the kids,” Baylor TE LaQuan McGowan said. “It feels good to come out and be able to put a smile on kids’ faces is what it’s all about.”
Even head coaches Larry Fedora and Art Briles got in on the fun.
The highlight of the morning was the much-anticipated dance-off that occurs annually. Both teams form a circle in the middle of the courtyard and have the kids (and sometimes the players) danced in the middle as they’re met with smiles and cheering.
“This is just a great opportunity just to make some kids happy,” North Carolina QB Marquise Williams said. “Kids make us who we are today. I’m so thankful just to play around and have some fun.”
With game day just around the corner, this event gives the players the opportunity to act like little kids again all while making a difference in some of kids’ lives.