In the height of the George Floyd riots, the Nebraska Cornhuskers were in the midst of moving into self-quarantine to get ready for off-season workouts. The team watched on in the news while the coaching staff took note of the desire to do something among the players to help. While the team did release the below video on the program’s Twitter account, they still wanted more than that.
In light of this desire, Head Coach Fred Hoiberg reached out to the nearby Malone Center’s Executive Director John Goodwin. Per their website, the Malone Center “started as a community center in the midst of the civil rights era as a platform for creating racial and socioeconomic equality.” Coach Hoiberg invited Goodwin and his wife Chassidy - the only female African-American police officer in Lincon - to speak to the team after first meeting over coffee.
After their talk with the team, enough players expressed interest in volunteering to Goodwin that a partnership was hatched. Once Coronavirus restrictions are eased enough, the Huskers plan to start volunteering as mentors to the youth at the center.
Per Goodwin in the Omaha World-Herald, the new partnership represents a great show of public support.
“What the basketball team brings to our youth is hope,” Goodwin said. “Because they see someone else who is not their relative who they are able to talk to — physically talk to them — and touch them and then go watch them on TV as they go play Michigan State . . . and be like, ‘Man, that’s who was talking to me. If they can do it, so can I.’ You give them hope.”