CHARLESTON, S.C. - During the summer months, many College of Charleston student-athletes through the years have been called to serve on mission trips around the world to aid those in need.
For rising senior men's basketball forward Matt Sundberg (Kennesaw, Ga.) and redshirt junior forward Willis Hall (Charlotte, N.C.), both will serve on their first mission trip as part of the College of Hope group who will spend the next five days in Haiti from May 21-25.
Both players will be accompanied by mission trip leader Jason Surratt, missions pastor at Seacoast Church in Mt. Pleasant, S.C., lead organizer and mission trip visionary Angela Mallen, a 2002 CofC graduate and freelancer for ESPN, Carolyn Cremins, wife of former CofC Head Coach Bobby Cremins, and Judson Hall, younger brother of Willis Hall, who is a junior practice player on the men's squad.
The group will help paint houses and team with Water Missions International (www.watermissions.org) to dig a well to bring clean water to a community located just outside of the capital of Port-au-Prince still recovering from the devastating earthquake which hit in January of 2010. They will also help set-up goals for a basketball court which will be built in the near future for the children affected in the area through the partnership of organizations such as The 410 Bridge (www.410bridge.org) and Seacoast Church (www.seacoast.org).
"We are all excited about the trip and being able to impact kids' lives," Sundberg said. "I've never been on a mission trip before and will be going into this with an open mind. God has a plan for each one of us to brighten our eyes for the future. It will be a fun and meaningful experience being able to help others. Sports transcends all languages and kids always love to play sports. To be able to put a smile on their faces will put a smile on all of our faces."
Sundberg and Hall join fellow CofC teammates who have used their summer to serve in rising junior forward Trent Wiedeman (Suwanee, Ga.), who made three mission trips in high school to Ensenada, Mexico, and senior reserve guard Bart Benton (Monroe, Ga.), who served on a mission trip to Alaska in the summer of 2011.
Video footage, photo galleries and a recap will be posted on www.CofCSports.com upon the group's return to the U.S. Many of the basketball items for the trip were donated by local businesses and college basketball coaches around the country.