BALTIMORE – The UMBC softball and baseball teams recently took part in the League of Dreams, a locally-run, non-profit organization that provides physically and mentally disabled men, women, boys and girls with the opportunity to play baseball or softball. Softball's junior catcher Taylor Hall (Cosby, Va./Cosby) and men's lacrosse's sophomore middie Pat Young (Ewing, N.J./Christchurch School) followed with a trip to Providence, R.I. for the NCAA Student-Athlete Leadership Forum.
"Our student-athletes truly enjoy working with the League of Dreams," assistant softball coach Julia Culotta said. "It allows our athletes to take a second from the hectic life of a student-athlete to give back to the community. The brave kids and families who belong to the League of Dreams have so much to teach our athletes about how sports can heal."
Frank Kolarek, the founder and operator of the League of Dreams, is a former professional baseball player with Oakland Athletics organization and now works as a scout for the Baltimore Orioles. Frank also worked as the International Director of Softball for the Special Olympics, Inc. which serves more than 152 foreign countries. UMBC and the League of Dreams have been working together since the organization was founded in 2004.
"I think the League of Dreams is a great organization," head baseball coach Bob Mumma said. "Our guys get a lot out of it. I don't think they always know what to expect when they get there, but as you watch them over the couple of hours, you see them really interact with the kids, they're having a good time and the kids are having a good time. It's a great event for our student-athletes to be able to give back to the community."
Hall and Young spent four days with approximately 450 student-athletes, coaches and administrators at the NCAA Student-Athlete Leadership Forum. The two participated in leadership activities, workshops, community service activities and had a chance to listen to numerous motivational speakers.