BATON ROUGE - LSU women's basketball head coach Nikki Caldwell, her staff and the Lady Tiger team continues to make an impact in the lives of others this holiday season in the Baton Rouge community.
Caldwell and her team last week made a trip to Southside Gardens Retirement Home and visited with residents. On Tuesday, the squad spent over an hour putting on a free basketball clinic at the Louisiana School for the Deaf and its students during an exercise period.
The Lady Tigers ran drills with the children, held a shooting contest, signed autographs and distributed trading cards. Following the clinic, the team went through its normal practice in the Maravich Center a day prior to its game.
"It's amazing to be able to have that impact on young people," said Caldwell. "We make sure our student-athletes don't take anything for granted. When we went out to the Louisiana School for the Deaf, even though we put smiles on their faces, they put smiles on us as well. That's something we should all be appreciative of. Our ability to make people smile and to make their day, we all have that in us."
Following Tuesday's practice, Caldwell and her coaching staff continued the holiday spirit at the Nikki Caldwell Show presented by Capital One Bank at TJ Ribs in Baton Rouge. The staff sponsored a family through the Catholic Charities of the Diocese of Baton Rouge. Caldwell and the staff paid for the family's dinner, bought presents for the entire family, signed autographs and gave them free tickets to the Lady Tigers' next two games prior to Christmas.
"We all should remember what this time of year is about," said Caldwell. "It's about giving back to the community and putting smiles on people's faces. We are fortunate to be in a position where we can give back and help people out this holiday season. Our staff and players can each learn something from every event we do that can play an impact in our lives."
Caldwell and her teams have made a significant impact on the community since her arrival. The second-year Lady Tiger coach has been involved in the Greater Baton Rouge Food Bank, breast cancer awareness and routinely speaking to charity groups around the city. The Lady Tigers host Grambling at 7 p.m. Wednesday in the Maravich Center and will be hosting a holiday toy drive prior to the game.