Ole Miss athletics hosted their 14th annual Kids Day this morning for the women’s basketball game against Kent State University. As the women’s basketball team prepared to impress the younger audience, the kids were warming up to them as well.
The university hosted roughly 7,000 students from different schools around the state, making it the most successful Kids Day to date. Many schools traveled over an hour to attend the event.
Jason list is the Assistant Athletics Director for Marketing. He says it’s important to engage younger students in a college environment.
“Anytime you get young kids on a college campus I think it is a good thing,” List said. “Couple that with a new, beautiful basketball arena, a fun team to watch and an in-game event staff that really knows hot to put on a good show, it’s an all-around success.”
List hopes the experience gives the kids a positive memory of the Ole Miss campus. He also hopes it inspires them to come back when they’re making a college decision in the future.
Though many of the kids from the surrounding area were Ole Miss fans, many of them were visiting the campus for the first time.
Alicia Wilson is a teacher from Aberdeen High School in Monroe County. She brought 20 of her students to give them their first opportunity to visit Ole Miss.
“They’re quite excited to be here,” Wilson said. “Some of them have never even had the opportunity to visit a college campus, less known attend a college game.”
Many Ole Miss students were also in attendance for the women’s basketball game. Having Kids Day also gives Ole Miss students the ability to interact and share their college experiences with younger, impressionable students.
Aaron Wilson is a senior student at Ole Miss and he attended Aberdeen High School. He’s also the son of Alicia Wilson. He says that he would have loved the opportunity to visit Ole Miss as a high school student. He says the learning experience gives the kids something to look forward to as they further their education beyond high school.
“It’s a great experience for the young kids,” Wilson said. “A lot of kids just haven’t been exposed to leaving their city, or really just being on a college campus.”
Ole Miss athletics hopes that Kids Day is the first campus visit or many for the students who were able to attend.