Junior spearheads hoops fundraiser

Joe Pelletier

When junior Paden Livingston came back from his Study Abroad semester in South Africa, he had only one thing on his mind: helping those he had just left.

On Feb. 22, Livingston proposed to Quinnipiac administrative and student leaders a March Madness fundraiser to bring about funds, apparel, and awareness for the people he grew close to in South Africa.

During his fall 2009 semester, Livingston volunteered to coach the Kayamandi Township High School basketball team. The students not only dealt with impoverished conditions, but a serious lack of equipment and proper athletic attire.

“These kids come from nothing,” Livingston said. “One of the kids wore sandals to practice everyday.”

So he decided to do something about it. Livingston contacted Quinnipiac Athletic Director Jack McDonald, who shipped over basketballs, shirts, and shorts to the South African high school.

But it was only so much, Livingston said. As soon as he came back to the United States, he decided to do more.

For the first few days of the NCAA Tournament, Livingston, along with Sigma Phi Epsilon, members of the political science department, and Vice President and Dean of Students Manuel Carreiro will coordinate events, along with a basketball tournament, and raise funds for South African students.

“We’re really asking for small things,” Livingston said. “Grab an old basketball, shorts, and donate it.”

When coaching for Kayamandi, Livingston said he was introduced to the concept of “Ubuntu,” translated as, “Sharing is caring.” When his basketball players in South Africa were asked what the most important thing to them was, the answer was clear: Ubuntu.

“I believe in ubuntu,” Livingston said. “Giving back brings out the best in you. I want people here to realize that, too.”