Birmingham, Ala. – In a continuing effort to recognize the accomplishments of student-athletes beyond the field of competition, the SEC once again highlighted a Community Service Team for men's basketball for the 2017-18 season.
This marks the 20th year for the SEC Community Service Team for men's basketball as well as for women's basketball. All 21 league-sponsored sports have had a Community Service Team since 2004, with at-large teams for men's and women's sports being chosen from 1999-2003. The SEC began this concept with a football Community Service Team in 1994.
2018 SEC Men's Basketball Community Service Team
Braxton Key, Alabama
Braxton Key leads the Alabama men's basketball team in community service hours and is a staple among the Tide's outreach within the city of Tuscaloosa ... He has visited a number of elementary schools to read and speak to local children about the importance of education ... He volunteered his time to help with Hurricane Harvey Relief efforts and also visited with patients at the Manderson Cancer Center at Druid City Hospital (DCH) ... In addition, Braxton spent time at the Rise Center on the Alabama campus, which was started by former Alabama football coach Gene Stallings and specializes in dealing with preschoolers with and without special needs ... Other community service efforts include volunteering at the Loaves and Fishes Food Pantry in Tuscaloosa, while also assisting with on-campus events such as the Halloween Extravaganza.
Trey Thompson, Arkansas
Has helped spearhead all community service efforts for the Arkansas basketball team during his four-year career ... Participated in fundraising events for the Boys & Girls Club, helped in relief efforts for flood victims in Houston and Florida ... Participated in Book Hogs program to provide children’s books to elementary schools and partnered with Samaritan’s Feet to provide shoes to underprivileged children ... Completed his undergraduate degree in three years and has worn the coveted "SEC Graduate" patch during his senior season ... Is a two-time member of the SEC Academic Honor Roll.
Jared Harper, Auburn
Though he has been on campus just two years, Jared Harper has already made a large impact in the community ... He has volunteered numerous hours to visit students at the Boys and Girls Club of Greater Lee County and with the Jason Dufner Charitable Foundation to help end child hunger in the state of Alabama ... Harper has also volunteered for several other community service projects, including Habitat for Humanity of Greater Lee County and Homes for our Troops, where he and his teammates helped to build a home for a wounded Veteran and resident of Auburn ... Harper has also volunteered to feed the homeless in his hometown of Atlanta, volunteered to organize gifts and wrap presents with a local charity at Christmas and volunteered to spend time with and mentor children with Camp Good Grief, a local grief camp for children who have recently lost immediate family members to cancer.
Kevarrius Hayes, Florida
An active member of Goodwill Gators, Hayes participates in numerous community outreach visits ... Hayes has been a part of visits to local schools, hospitals, women's centers and other community outreach organizations ... He was part of the team's holiday activity, packing bags of food and clothing for local families in need.
Yante Maten, Georgia
One of 10 national finalists for the Senior CLASS Award for his outstanding efforts on the court, in the classroom and in the community ... Assisted with local relief efforts for victims of Hurricane Harvey … Participated in the UGA Archway Partnership, a UGA effort addressing self-identified community issues in geographically dispersed locations across the State of Georgia ... Helped with the Northeast Georgia Food Bank's "Stuff the Truck" food drive ... Served as a mentor at the Athens Boys & Girls Club ... Assisted with UGA's Relay for Life fundraiser for cancer research ... Spoke to students at Alps Road Elementary School about the value of education, maintaining a positive attitude and good work ethic ... Visited Camp Twin Lakes, a summer facility for children whose lives have been affected by cancer ... Assisted with shopping to provide Christmas presents for a member of the Athens Boys & Girls Club ... Helped with staging of the annual AthHalf, Athens’ half marathon ... Member of SEC Community Service team for third-straight year.
Dillon Pulliam, Kentucky
Hurricane Harvey tel-e-thon … God's Pantry Backpack program … Guest speaker at local elementary school … Mission trip to Belize in Summer of 2017 … UK basketball camp counselor … Two-time All-SEC Academic Team member … Dean's List; on track to graduate in May 2018.
Aaron Epps, LSU
Four-year letterman who is having his best season of his career averaging just under 10 points and 6.0 rebounds … Has developed into a solid forward this season who worked hard with Coach Will Wade and his staff to improve … Coach Wade has told the media recently, “I wish I could have him for another year.” … Played four years of basketball at Tioga High and was a high jumper for three years …. From the small town of Ball, Louisiana …. Major is interdisciplinary studies with minors in business, health studies and leadership development … Favorite NBA team is the New Orleans Pelicans.
Terence Davis, Ole Miss
Spent the Fourth of July at a community picnic in Jonestown, Miss., playing basketball and a variety of other games with the local children ... Participated in Reading with the Rebels, visiting local schools to read and encouraging literacy ... Interacted with children in Leap Frog, a local after school program promotes good behavior in school ... Co-hosted children from Quitman County and toured them around the Tuohy Center ... Encouraged healthy lifestyles through physical activity as part of The Marks Project ... Assisted in Adopt-A-Basket, a coordination of athletics donation during the Thanksgiving season to needy families ... Delivered meals to families in the Lafayette-Oxford-University (LOU) community ... Helped with Books and Bears, a coordination of toy and book collection for needy families in the LOU community ... Participated in Dunk or Treat, greeting local fans and interacting with children at the annual family fun event that built excitement towards basketball season.
Mitchell Storm, Mississippi State
Team SAAC (Student Athlete Advisory Committee) Representative ... SEC Men’s Basketball Leadership Council Representative ... Eight-day mission trip in Haiti with But God Ministries. Walk to School Day ... Community Food Bank of Central Alabama Volunteer ... Assists with kids at basketball clinics in Starkville and Madison, Miss. … Reading programs at local schools in Starkville.
Jeremiah Tilmon, Missouri
Regularly volunteers his time to the Boys & Girls Club of Columbia, visiting with area children and working on after-school programming at the club ... Visitor to the MU Children's Hospital, painting and reading with young patients ... Clinic coach for the Mizzou Basketball program's annual youth clinic at Douglass Park ... Guest book reader at Columbia's elementary schools.
Khadim Gueye, South Carolina
Since arriving on campus at South Carolina, Gueye has been active in community outreach events ... Especially in joining his teammates in the annual 8K In 8 Days Campaign, which aims to reach 8,000 people within the State of South Carolina and the Columbia community during the summer ... Gueye has helped with events involving the Special Olympics, the City of Columbia Parks and Recreation summer camps, and the Richland County Sheriff's Department, helping to run stations and teach the fundamentals of basketball ... He has also visited veterans at the Dorn VA Hospital in town and spent time with kids from the Epworth Children's Home ... Other community outreach events that Gueye has participated in throughout his career include a Basketball Madness event at Fort Jackson in Columbia, helping serve dinner at Transitions, and interacting with Gamecock fans at a pre-game football event.
Grant Williams, Tennessee
Played games and visited with children during Tennessee's annual Voloween event in Anderson Training Center ... Visited patients at East Tennessee Children's Hospital on Halloween day, distributing coloring books and other gifts to children who were unable to go trick-or-treating or consume candy because of health restrictions ... Ran drill stations and coached a team at the annual "Hoops for Hope" event that benefits the Down Syndrome Awareness Group of East Tennessee ... Took part in the Thornton Athletics Student Life Center's "Paint the Rock Dinner" … Interacted with fans during Tennessee's Rocky Top Tip-Off event at Thompson-Boling Arena ... Is a 2017-18 participant in Tennessee's VOLeaders Academy, a year-long curriculum aimed at leadership development that culminates in an international service trip.
Tonny Trocha-Morelos, Texas A&M
Has been one of Texas A&M's most active community service volunteers during his four-year career in Aggieland ... Member of the A&M delegation that traveled to Haiti on a mission trip in the summer of 2017 ... Participated in Aggies Can, the nation's largest student-run food drive, all four years in school while also visiting local elementary schools to read to and encourage students to continue their education ... Volunteered at Still Creek Ranch, a Christian-based education center for boys and girls who come from crisis environment, by wrapping Christmas gifts as well as lending support to the students .... Also Volunteered at Boys and Girls Club basketball camps ... Assisted as Texas A&M men's basketball partnered with Autism Speaks to raise awareness for Autism ... Spent time with and put on a clinic for the families of service members at Ramstein Air Base in Germany during the Armed Forces Classic.
Djery Baptiste, Vanderbilt
Baptiste helped with the Hurricane Harvey Flood Drive this fall to help the city of Houston … Participated in the Student Athletic Advisory Committee Holiday Party with a local elementary school in Nashville.