Life changing

The Wright State men’s basketball team traveled to the Dominican Republic in early August to put shoes on the feet of children in need.

The mission trip was privately funded with the help of Samaritan’s Feet, a global humanitarian organization that provides shoes for children around the world. The team arrived on Aug. 4 and visited various towns and villages over a five-day period.

“I feel really blessed to take a trip like this,” said Alan Vest, a senior guard on the basketball team. “I have been humbled and I realize what I have. I will not take it for granted.”

Home base for the team was in the capital city of Santo Domingo. The team traveled to areas outside of town to visit churches and centers in order to wash feet, hand out candy and distribute almost 900 pairs of shoes.

When each shoe distribution concluded, players and coaches played basketball, baseball, soccer, tag, duck-duck-goose and other games with the children.

“They were grateful for us to be there and play with them and interact,” said Bill Wampler, a junior forward on the team. “I think we appreciated their time even more.”

The team’s excursions included places like Orphanage Vanessa Taveras, Villa Consuelo Sto Dgo Oeste, Batey Boca de Soco San Pedro and Batey Santa Fe.

“It was a good trip for the players,” said head basketball coach Scott Nagy. “Our players learned from it and I think they will remember the trip for the rest of their lives.”

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