Women’s basketball head coach Bryana Williams led her team on a ministry outreach to Alzheimer’s patients that may never remember the visit. Warrior student athletes will never forget.
The success of an athletic team is measured in a variety of ways – perseverance, skill and teamwork chief among them. Lady Warrior Basketball Head Coach Bryana Williams also includes confidence, character and selflessness as winning qualities for the young women she coaches.
Coach Bry and her squad ministered to men and women in the Alzheimer’s unit at the Inland Christian Home in nearby Ontario on Saturday, February 9 bringing joy to the faces of people who may never remember the visit.
Still, the student athletes gave of themselves and found common ground in serving.
Coach Bryana Williams sees outreaches like this as part of building a culture of care with her student athletes. Too often she has observed in women’s sports a lack of personal confidence among the athletes and she hopes to be an agent of change for her team beginning with giving of themselves to others.
“Serving at the Inland Christian Home brought our team closer because we saw each other in a different light,” Coach Bry says. “We served and worked together outside the court and saw how selfless we can be.”
Giving of themselves is nothing new for these young women who constantly sacrifice to help establish a solid women’s basketball program at Life Pacific.
Coach Bry says they make sacrifices for the program with early morning practices and study hall and pushing through the challenges of their first season together. “To see them come together and their commitment to stick it out this season, says a lot about who they are as young women and their heart for the program.”
The basketball team has bonded as a community in ways that can take years for teammates in a larger program and the women have become like sisters who have each other’s back.
Whether on the court or serving in an Alzheimer’s unit, Lady Warriors student athletes are learning to put self aside and work together as a team. To serve in this capacity impacts the Alzheimer’s residents some of who may not get many family visitors and in some cases have been forgotten altogether.
Bryana says the smiles on the resident’s faces and the joy they expressed meant everything to the team.
Personal growth and Christian discipleship are important ingredients in Warrior athletics and Coach Bry is leading her young team by example. She believes women’s basketball is an avenue to pour into young ladies, teaching life skills and equipping them with character development tools that will help them find success in life.
Bryana played collegiate basketball from 2006-2010 at California Baptist University. Upon graduation, she honed her coaching skills at Notre Dame Academy, Alta Loma High School, Kaiser High School, Ontario Christian High School, Simpson University (Redding, California) and Cal Poly Pomona, a NCAA Division 2 school.
“I want my players to build a strong faith in Christ, identify their purpose, know their worth, and reach their goals: personally, academically, athletically, spiritually and professionally,” she says.
The first year of any program requires sacrifice and determination and the Lady Warrior Basketball team is up for the challenge. Serving Alzheimer’s patients with love and grace offers one of many examples of how the team is bonding and becoming a winning unit for Christ.
“When you value yourself, your team, and your academics, then you are free to use the gifts God has given you in excellence,” Coach Bryana Williams says.
While it may be true that the Alzheimer’s patients they met may never remember the visit, it is equally true that the Lady Warriors Basketball team will never forget what they are learning at Life Pacific.