Walter McCarty Leadership Academy Day Camp a huge success


UE men’s and women’s basketball teams welcomed local youth

 It was just a year ago that University of Evansville head men’s basketball coach Walter McCarty, women’s basketball head coach Matt Ruffing and Old National Bank joined forces to help local youth through the formation of the Walter McCarty Leadership Academy.

On Friday, one of the most influential aspects of this partnership took place with the Walter McCarty Leadership Academy Day Camp taking place on the UE campus.

“It means a lot to see all of the kids so excited to be here and have the chance to be in the gym and around our men’s and women’s players,” McCarty said.  “Just seeing their smiles means a lot to us and shows us that we are doing the right thing.

“Having those kids in here to play basketball, do other activities in the gym and a pizza party is something we hope will be very special to each one of them.  It’s just a great day.”

Purple Aces head women’s basketball coach Matt Rufffing also enjoyed the opportunity his team had to give back to the community and provide a unique experience to local youth.

“It is a lot of fun to see all of the faces and the excitement the moment they walk through the door,” Ruffing explained.  “The chance they get to have access to the facilities and our players is something that not everyone gets.  It is just a special day.”

Campers began the day with donuts and an introduction to the staff and players.  From there, they spent time with each basketball team doing drills, a dance contest and much more.  The day was completed with a pizza party as campers got to enjoy more one-on-one time with the UE basketball squads.

Old National Bank Evansville Region President and Southern Region CEO Sara Miller was on hand to welcome the campers and watch the activities.

“We are really glad to be part of the Walter Leadership Academy,” Miller said.  “To bring these kids together for the camp and the experience they are receiving today is a game changer.  We are thrilled to be able to offer it.”