EL PASO, Texas -- The Riverside High School girls basketball team is giving back to those in our community one sports ball at a time.
“It just kind of shows that there’s a lot of good people out there," said Stephen Solis, head basketball coach for the girls Riverside basketball team.
When Solis and his team noticed that a lot of young girls in our community were lacking new sports balls this summer they decided to do something about it.
"We wanted to make sure that each kid was able to get a ball of their choice. A brand new ball for the summer,” said Solis.
He gathered his girls basketball team to help spread the word on their “Ball Out” service project and the response they received was overwhelming.
“At first we were like if we get 25 that would be awesome but social media just kind of blew up,” said Solis, "We have a teacher on campus named Mrs. Estrada and she's kind of TikTok famous so I went to her classroom and said 'Mrs. Estrada you gotta help us and she's like yea I got you coach."
So far, the team has collected over 500 sports balls ranging from soccer balls to basketballs and even footballs.
"We didn't think this was gonna pop off so crazy like it did and just to hear our new goal is 200 and then 400 it was awesome to hear that,” said Riverside high school incoming sophomore Sophiya Bustillos.
Bustillos and her teammate, Lauren Perez, spent their Wednesday morning handing out basketball’s they collected to the 5th graders at Thomas Manor elementary school.
“We all wanted to give back to the community and we were really happy to help and just be a part of something,” said Perez.
Thomas Manor was the first school to receive the free sports balls and the team hopes to deliver more balls across the community.
"At first we just said the lower valley because this is our community and we noticed the need for our kids just to have a new ball," said Coach Solis, "But because of the great support from the community we’re able to kinda spread the love.”
The team received donations from across the country and from other athletic programs in the district including Hanks high schools athletic department.
The team will be donating more free sports balls to other schools in the lower valley area as well as to children at The Child Crisis Center. They will continue accepting sports ball donations during the summer for young girls who participate in their free basketball camp in July.
If you would like more information on how you can donate brand new sports balls to the Riverside Girls basketball team, email Coach Solis at: email@example.com