Lumberjacks Lend a Helping Hand

By Dallas Cameron

Tue April 18, 2017

Ivan Canete and Aaaron Augustin helping clean debris from a backyard.

Ivan Canete and Aaaron Augustin helping clean debris from a backyard.

The Stephen F. Austin Lumberjacks men’s basketball season has finally come to an end after an 18-15 finish to the year. The team is now in the offseason where players and coaches can choose to do what they want with their time. They can relax, take weekend vacations out of town or a number of many other things that they find difficult to do in the heart of the basketball season. What did they choose to do instead of all those things? Well they chose to serve their community of course!

On April 8th, 2017, the men’s basketball team joined many other students from the school and people from the community in a joint effort to help better the community through a volunteer program called The BIG Event.

The BIG Event is an organization run through the university by students of SFA. The BIG Event gets volunteer workers to come out and sacrifice their personal time by serving the community in a variety of ways such as landscaping work, cleaning up city streets along with a number of other things.

According to The BIG Event’s mission statement is as follows:

“SFA’s The BIG Event promotes unity between campus and community as students come together for one day to express their gratitude through service for the support from the Nacogdoches community. Students work in teams to complete projects across Nacogdoches County as a way to say ‘thank you!’ to the community for their support of SFA students.”

Helping Off the Court

As pointed out in the mission statement, the men’s basketball team wanted to use the opportunity to come together with students and show the community gratitude for their continued support of the team.

Ivan Canete, junior guard on the team shared what it meant to him to be able to offer out a helping hand to the community.

“It felt great to be able to volunteer and help the community out,” Canete said. “This community has shown us so much love this year through all of our ups and downs this season. The least that we could do is take some time out of our day and show our gratitude by coming out and trying to help make our community look better.”

Not Your Average Athletes

Jovan Grujic and Ivan Canete standing in front of The BIG Event sign.

Jovan Grujic and Ivan Canete standing in front of The BIG Event sign.

The team’s efforts was not only noticed by the residents of the city, but the fellow students at the university took notice as well.

Sophomore and soon-to-be graduate of SFA, Jennifer Salazar reflected on how much it meant to her to see the men’s basketball team at The BIG Event helping out.

“It’s just not something you see every day,” Salazar said. “In today’s day in age, it’s hard to find people who want to volunteer their time and energy to do something for others. Many times athletes are stereotyped as being the self-centered jocks you see on TV shows. It was refreshing to see that isn’t always the case though.”

Team Building

Chris Keith who serves as one of the coaches of the Lumberjacks says that by helping with The BIG Event, it will not only help the community but it will also help the Lumberjacks for the upcoming season.

“I’m a strong believer that when you give back to others, it always comes back to you tenfold,” Keith said. “This is an opportunity for our team to grow as a unit and build chemistry all while helping the community at the same time. What more can a coach ask for?”

To learn more about this year’s The BIG Event, you can visit their Twitter page at and search “SFATheBIGEvent”. To learn more about the SFA men’s basketball team visit and click on men’s basketball. Reporting for SFASYou, this is Dallas Cameron.

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