One of the bright spots in Texas A&M men’s basketball news is when you can look at your team and see how much your players mean to this school, outside of basketball, ever as much as they are part of the athletic program. This season the Aggies have been through all kinds of challenges, yet they possess character, spirit, and school loyalty, propelling them to keep going, long after the naysayers have hung crepe over just how bad things are. Character wins out every time. On March 10, 2014, the SEC singled out one Aggie player, Blake McDonald, for his special contributions to his community.
And “Service above self” is more than just an altruistic motto; for Texas Aggie senior guard, Blake McDonald, it’s a path he’s taken throughout his four years in Aggieland. For his contributions above and beyond school and team, for his gifts of time and talents to his community, on Mar. 10, 2014, the SEC named McDonald to their SEC Men’s Basketball Community Service Team.
Blake played high school ball in Spring, Texas and he’s definitely a crowd favorite; when McDonald hears his number called, he is that 12th Man who goes in for a 3-point shot or feeds the ball where it needs to go. And he plays good defense as well as keeping an excellent GPA in his business major. As a guest at a recent “Wings ‘N More” radio show, Aggie men’s Head Coach Billy Kennedy said of Blake that “he’s the kind of student-athlete that you want. He works hard in practice; he’s always prepared, knows the plays and helps his teammates improve their games. Even when he’s not in the game, Blake makes an important contribution, cheering them on and encouraging them.”
A young man who is not shy about his religious faith, McDonald was named to the SEC Basketball Community Service Team for volunteering in church-related activities at A&M United Methodist Church, in their “Nothing But Nets” program to purchase mosquito nets for the needy in Africa. Over the past five years, that program has been proven to have made a substantial difference in saving lives, especially those of children. Blake also coordinated the entire team’s participation in “Aggies Can,” a canned food drive in the Bryan-College Station area.
Another special effort McDonald made was in helping raise donations for Still Creek Boys and Girls Ranch in Bryan, Texas; this nonprofit has focused on providing a loving Christian environment for children who no longer choose to live at home, making sure they have safe, positive influences around them for them to live, learn, and work to help earn their way.
Another special event that Blake was part of was “The Big Event,” where close to 20,000 Aggie students devote one full day to helping deserving people in the local community as a campuswide initiative to give back to their community and interact with the underserved and senior citizens, who appreciate the Aggies.
This has been one tough season for Texas A&M men’s basketball as the team members have braved multiple obstacles The schedule of a student-athlete is doesn’t leave much down time for extra activities, outside of going to class, practicing in the gym with the team, working out on your own, and playing games at Reed Arena, and on the road. Aggie men’s basketball has been distinguished by Blake McDonald being selected for this group.
Also named to the SEC Community Service Team:
Retin Obasohan, Alabama
Kikko Haydar, Arkansas
Asauhn Dixon-Tatum, Auburn
Will Yeguete, Florida
Marcus Thornton, Georgia
Jon Hood, Kentucky
Andre Stringer, LSU
Demarco Cox, Ole Miss
Tyson Cunningham, Mississippi State
Johnathan Williams, III, Missouri
Brenton Williams, South Carolina,
D’Montre Edwards, Tennessee
Blake McDonald, Texas A&M
Kyle Fuller, Vanderbilt
McDonald and his teammates will participate in the SEC tournament in Atlanta, Georgia, this week on March 13, 2014 as they face the University of Missouri Tigers in their first game at the Georgia Dome, beginning at 12 p.m. The game will be broadcast live on the Aggie radio network, and seen on television on ESPNU, and SEC-TV (seen in Bryan-College Station on the CW Channel 8.