San Diego State University’s Independent Student Newspaper Since 1913

The Daily Aztec

San Diego State University’s Independent Student Newspaper Since 1913

The Daily Aztec

San Diego State University’s Independent Student Newspaper Since 1913

The Daily Aztec

Assist 2023: SDSU Aztecs connect with the Boys and Girls Club

The MESA Foundation hosted a basketball skills clinic with the Boys and Girls Club as a part of their mission to connect student athletes with the community
Morgan Prickett
The SDSU Aztec men’s and women’s basketball players with the Boys and Girls Club at Assist 2023.

“I am going to frame this,” was heard as kids left the Polster Branch Boys and Girls Club with their autographed t-shirts last weekend.

On Sunday Feb. 5, the MESA Foundation held a basketball skills clinic with both the men’s and women’s basketball players. 

The SDSU Aztecs watching the Boys and Girls Club kids do their drills. (Morgan Prickett)

This event drew between 70 and 80 third through eighth graders from the local community. 

“With the boys and girls club (event) today, we have a former player DJ Gay (here) who many are familiar with and his involvement and coaching throughout the community,” co-founder of MESA Foundation Jason Tetley said. 

DJ Gay played four seasons for San Diego State from 2007-2011 and two of them with Aztec alumni and current NBA player Kawhi Leonard during the 2009-11 period.

Gay orchestrated the skills clinic with constructed basketball drills in which the Aztec players acted as “coaches” and interacted with the kids.

“I think anyone who has an opportunity to walk into the gym today and be a part of it can see the excitement on the kids’ faces,” Gay said. “ I think this is something incredible that’s being done for the community of  San Diego and will continue to grow.”

Elijah Saunders of the men’s basketball team coaching some of the kids of the Boys and Girls Club. (Morgan Prickett)

Of those kids, some were there from Star Pal, a non-profit organization in partnership with San Diego Law Enforcement personnel who are devoted to helping the youth thrive. They were accompanied by Corey Pitts, a San Diego police officer and volunteer. 

“This is my first time with the MESA Foundation,” Pitts said. “I think it’s great that San Diego State basketball players actually came out putting on these clinics and took time in their day to give back to the community because that is what it is all about.”

Not only did the kids have a great time, but smiles and laughter were seen from the players as well.

“The kids are amazing. It is really nice to pour into them and allow them to pour into me the same way,” women’s basketball forward Yo’Myris (Yummy) Morris said. “I am really enjoying this event.”

Adam Seiko of the men’s basketball team coaching the kids of the Boys and Girls Club. (Morgan Prickett)

“I see these kids at our games,” men’s basketball guard Adam Seiko said. “For them to come meet us personally and put them through drills… I just love their attitudes, they are good kids and they all want to learn, so it’s been great.”  

In an ending game of knockout, fourteen-year-old Kannon Seals beat men’s basketball forward Keshad Johnson and won free game tickets. Seals was confident from the beginning where the game was headed.

“I already knew I was going to beat him,” Seals said. “It was a fun experience to interact with all the players.”

Many parents attended the clinic, including Manny Lopez who had much appreciation for the Aztec players being there. 

Asia Avinger, Khylee Pepe and Meghan Fiso coaching the kids form the Boys and Girls Club. (Morgan Prickett)


“Seeing the players, how they are carrying themselves, the girls and the boys, and how they are talking to everybody; they are just normal people, but we see them on stage like stars,” Lopez said. 

The kids did see the players as stars. They lined up after the clinic to have their shirts and basketballs autographed by them. 

“This is home,” Lopez said. “We were on the floor when (SDSU) celebrated the Mountain West and got to be with (Steve) Fisher and (Leonard). It was a once in a lifetime experience. Now, my son believes that this is a possibility for us too and wants to go to San Diego State. It’s something we look forward to and know that it can happen, it’s real.” 


The SDSU Aztecs signing autographs. (Morgan Prickett)

Since its establishment in the fall of 2022, the MESA Foundation has participated in the annual ALS walk in Mission Bay and also participated in a San Diego Food Bank event held at the New Season’s Church in Spring Valley.

“I feel that the family environment that San Diego State has promoted and being involved with the community is a great fit with what we wanted to do as a non-profit with the MESA Foundation,” Tetley said. “Choosing to do events like this and being able to give back to the charities like the boys and girls are a natural fit for what we are trying to accomplish.” 

About the Contributors
Sumaia Wegner, '23-24 Managing Editor
Originally from Santa Clarita, California, Sumaia Wegner is a is a double major, studying Journalism and Communication.  She started as a staff writer for The Daily Aztec, then became Arts and Culture Editor, and is now the current Managing Editor. Aside from her leadership role, Sumaia is also a reporter for the men's basketball team. Last year she covered the Mountain West Championship as well as the NCAA Championship. Sumaia is the president of the Asian American Journalists Association (SDSU Chapter) as well as the vice president of Culture and Diversity for SDSU's College of Professional Studies and Fine Arts. She started her career as a journalist while she was traveling abroad in Bangladesh, where she was a writer for The Independent newspaper. She wrote for the “Youth and Independent” section focusing on narratives that evaluated eastern and western cultures. Sumaia has received the following awards for The Daily Aztec: "The Inspirer," "Quest for Excellence," and "Best Section." 
Morgan Prickett, '22-23 Sports Editor
Morgan Prickett (he/him/his) is a journalism major heading into his senior year. He was born in Libreville, Gabon and has lived in multiple countries before arriving here at SDSU. He is a soccer writer for the local news site East Village Times, the president of the National Association of Black Journalists chapter at SDSU, and also serves as the VP of External Relations on SDSU’s School of Professional Studies and Fine Arts College Council. If he’s not watching or playing sports, he’s most likely jamming out to music while preparing a home cooked meal in his kitchen. This year he is looking forward to bringing coverage to all sports at SDSU in the most entertaining way possible.
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San Diego State University’s Independent Student Newspaper Since 1913
Assist 2023: SDSU Aztecs connect with the Boys and Girls Club