CAMBRIDGE, Mass. - Harvard hosted its first "Education Day" Monday, Jan. 5 at Lavietes Pavilion, as the women's basketball team hosted Chattanooga. Harvard welcomed nearly 750 grade school students from local schools Jackson Mann School and Gardner Pilot Academy.
The grade school students arrived in the morning for tours of multiple athletic facilities, led by Harvard student-athletes on the wrestling, women's track and field and men's tennis teams, who taught the children about life as a Harvard student, the importance of a healthy lifestyle, and the challenges and rewards of being a college athlete. Athletes then demonstrated basic fundamentals of their respective sports, such as a serving a tennis ball or starting a track and field sprint.
After lunch, students made their way to Lavietes Pavilion for tipoff between Harvard and UTC. During timeouts, the students took part in t-shirt tosses, trivia questions, and other interactive activities such as starting up for the Lavietes Pavilion wave. Gardner Pilot Academy and Jackson Mann teachers were involved in a halftime game of Knockout.
"Events like this are important, since they integrate athletics and academics and build community and pride in Harvard," said Sue Byrne, Harvard's Associate Director of Athletics, Sales and Marketing.
With final attendance over 1,100 fans, Harvard women's basketball enjoyed its best attendance of the season. Harvard overcame an 11-point deficit with just 4:45 to play to knot the game at 52-52, before losing by a buzzer-beater to receiving votes Chattanooga.
"What an exciting day," said head coach Kathy Delaney-Smith. "We came close to knocking off one of the top teams in the country, with the help of our fans from Gardner Pilot Academy and the Jackson Mann School. We look forward to welcoming the kids back to Harvard next year!"