University of Miami football players visit the Boys & Girls Club of Miami
Miami Hurricanes defensive back Gurvin Hall Jr. spent some of his summers as a kid at his local Boys & Girls club.
On Thursday morning, he returned to another branch of the national organization with around 20 of his teammates, stopping by the Miami-Dade location to play football with dozens of summer campers.
“I was once in their shoes, I know how it feels looking at the older kids coming through,” he said. “Seeing that excitement from them, it brings back memories.”
The visit was one of the Hurricanes’ community service events, part of a program in which each team member gives back to his community in two different ways throughout the season. Many do more, defensive back Jimmy Murphy said.
“This new program that we’re starting is emphasizing that we want to give back just as much as they gave to us, so we really want to show our support for the community, and we love being here,” Murphy said. “I’m really excited to be here on behalf of the Canes, and I know everyone else is, too.”
The University of Miami is the Miami-Dade Boys and Girls Club’s biggest partner, Senior Director of Club Advancement Diana Perez said. Miami’s track and field, baseball and basketball teams have also come to play with the kids. Perez said the partnership and events like Thursday’s are a way to connect the kids with the community.
“The kids know the players, they follow them,” Perez said. “It’s a way of bringing [the players] here and giving them a little bit of a joy and a break and also giving our kids some joy.”
The field and basketball court were full, with some players handing out Chick-fil-A sandwiches and others catching passes from kids.
Alan Carratala, 9, who has been coming to the Miami-Dade Boys and Girls Club for two years, said he was excited for the event and was wondering how many kids would come. Way more than he expected, he found out.
“UM’s my favorite team,” Carratala said. “Because it’s Miami, and they’re a good team.”