Cyclones Return the Favor and Visit Green Hills
AMES, Iowa - The tables were turned this week as the Iowa State women’s basketball team visited the residents of Green Hills Retirement Community.
During the basketball season, the people of Green Hills board two busses and head for Hilton Coliseum to see every ISU women’s home basketball game. Monday afternoon, the Cyclones returned the favor and headed to Green Hills to meet and thank some of their biggest fans.
“It’s really touching being here,” junior Alison Lacey said. “I really appreciate all their support and their interest in us. They get so excited to meet us. It’s fun to hear their stories and how long they’ve been here. It’s good to see friendly faces that really care about us.”
Green Hills assistant leisure services coordinator Cheryl Gleason has been putting together visits by the women’s basketball team for five or six years. She said that when the Cyclones come to the retirement community, the residents become kids again with huge smiles across their faces.
“Women’s basketball is one of the most popular things that we do here in Ames,” Gleason said. “We usually have two busses that go to games. They love it and they look forward to it. When the girls come, they are all excited. It brings the kid out in them.”
ISU head coach Bill Fennelly opened the afternoon meeting by introducing the staff and having the players introduce themselves to the residents. Fennelly thanked the loyal Cyclone fans and answered questions they had for him. The student-athletes finished the afternoon my mingling with the residents.
“When you get a chance to go to a game and see them, you actually know them,” Roger Lawrence said. “They aren’t just a body out there playing ball.”
Roger and his wife Pauline have held men’s basketball season tickets since 1957-58 and have been attending women’s games for several years.
Irene Beavers and Marge Henning are Cyclone fans that enjoyed their afternoon with the ISU players and staff. Beavers has been attending games for “at least 10 years” and Henning believes she might be the oldest Cyclone fan attending games at 97.
“It means an awful lot for us for the girls to come out here to visit,” Beavers said. “It gets us in the spirit for the games. We look forward to it.”