Members of the Georgia Lady Bulldog basketball team met at Stegeman Coliseum Saturday afternoon for the 13th annual Bike Build.
A yearly tradition for the Lady Bulldogs, the Bike Build offers an opportunity for student-athletes, along with Fastbreak Club members, to donate bikes throughout schools in Athens/Clarke County, the Boys & Girls Club of Athens and the Jackson County Family Connection.
“We are so happy to say that over the time we have done this event, we have been able to give over 600 bikes to children in the Athens and Clarke County area,” Georgia Head Coach Joni Taylor said. “We all know how much it means to get a bike on Christmas. I think everyone can remember back to to getting their first bike. It is a memory you won’t forget, so it is something we take a lot of pride in and look forward to every year.”
Georgia’s Bike Build started under Hall of Fame head coach Andy Landers and Taylor has continued the tradition through her five seasons at the helm of the program. All told, Georgia has partnered with Academy Sports + Outdoors to donate close to 700 bikes since 2007.
This year, the Lady Bulldogs and Academy Sports and Outdoors donated 68 total bikes.
“This event is very special,” senior Stephanie Paul said. “We have the opportunity to give back with situations like this and just by being at Georgia. We also got to hang out with our fans, so it was a really fun event.”
The Bike Build is one of several Lady Bulldog community service efforts. Georgia student-athletes and staff members adopted the fifth-grade class at Stroud Elementary several years ago and have continued to visit the school. Taylor’s Beyond Basketball program for women has been considered a huge success, earning the NCAA’s Creative Challenge Award in 2016.