Tulane Men’s Basketball provides over 700 kids with new shoes in Costa Rica

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Tulane basketball
(Photo: Parker Waters)

San Jose, Costa Rica – More than seven hundred kids received a new pair of shoes on Monday morning as the Tulane Men’s Basketball team partnered with Samaritans’ Feet in their first of two shoe distributions while in Costa Rica.

“There are always things out there greater than you,” head coach Ron Hunter said while addressing the team. “Here is an opportunity to help children and it isn’t just about shoes, it’s about hope and what we are able to help kids with.”

The students were giddy upon the team’s arrival at the elementary school in Tibas, waiting in line to receive their new shoes. While normally there is a training process for the distribution, the guys wasted no time jumping right in when faced with a short window due to one class needing to catch their school bus.

“This is probably my 20th distribution and there is usually a time where you are kind of taught what to do and I was most impressed today with how we hit the ground running,” assistant coach Claude Pardue said. “It was the most impressive thing, the amount of servant hood and humility.”

Each athlete and staff member took turns washing feet, getting new socks, sizing up shoes and playing games with the kids. While the language barrier presented it’s challenges, every member of the team found that a smile and joy was something everyone could understand.

With the help of a few translators the team was able to get to know the kids and eventually communicate with them on their own. Tre Williams introduced himself to every kid, giving them a sucker, trying to ask about their day, evening sneaking them a few extra pairs of socks, earning hugs and high fives from many. Jaylen Forbes asked about their favorite shows, R.J. McGee shared the biggest smiles with kids, Jadan Coleman and Oton Jankovic held down the basketball court and Jake Shapiro started the teams favorite memory of the day.

“A kid went up to Jake and asked for his autograph and he turned to the kid and said no I want yours,” Sandy Ryan said. “All the kids wanted to sign our shirts after that. He made them feel like a celebrity and they will never forget that.”

The team will participate in their second shoe distribution of the foreign tour on Wednesday.

To find out more about Samaritan’s Feet follow this link.

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