Birmingham, Ala. - In a continuing effort to recognize the accomplishments of student-athletes beyond the field of competition, the SEC once again highlighted a Community Service Team for men's basketball for the 2020-21 season.
This marks the 23rd year for the SEC Community Service Team for men's basketball as well as for women's basketball. All 21 league-sponsored sports have had a Community Service Team since 2004, with at-large teams for men's and women's sports being chosen from 1999-2003. The SEC began this concept with a football Community Service Team in 1994.
Tyler Jones, Alabama
Tyler Barnes has always been involved in community service projects during his time at Alabama. He led the team in community service hours during the 2018-19 season and is a member of the Student Athletic Advisory Committee at UA. He donated his time in 2019 to help with the Lee County Tornado cleanup efforts. He also has participated in the Smile A Mile program which benefits children diagnosed with cancer & their families, helping them thrive during treatment. He has also participated in Liftoff Day and thank-a-thons throughout his four years wearing the crimson and white.
Moses Moody, Arkansas
Moses Moody has established himself as a leader prior to his arrival at Arkansas and he has continued to do so since arriving on campus. He is a member of the school's Student-Athlete Advisory Committee and serves on Arkansas Athletics' African American Student-Athlete Leadership Council. It was through the latter that he helped the Department develop an "EQUALITY" initiative and all Razorback sports and playing facilities feature the "EQUALITY" logo. Moody additionally did a virtual book reading for elementary children as well as doing a social media post to discuss the importance of voting.
Babatunde Akingbola, Auburn
Babatunde Akingbola uses his infectious outgoing personality to be a great teammate and ambassador for Auburn University. In just his second year on campus, "Stretch" - as he is affectionately known by - has been involved in a variety of community service projects. He has been a mentor for students at nearby Drake Middle School and has ready to children in the surrounding area at Cary Woods Elementary and Ogletree Elementary. Akingbola has also participated in an encouragement zoom with Our House - an after-school ministry that provides a Christ-centered, home environment in which children can grow spiritually, academically, and socially. He also visited with and provided encouragement to children with serious illnesses at Children's Hospital of Alabama in Birmingham. Akingbola has also assisted with the SAAC annual food and toiletry drives.
Anthony Duruji, Florida
Duruji quickly became a constant presence in the Gators' community efforts upon arriving in Gainesville from Louisiana Tech in 2019. Prior to COVID, he participated in numerous summer and after-school programs at a local school, volunteered at the annual Climb for Cancer event hosted by Florida student-athletes and spent time volunteering at a domestic violence shelter. Over the past year, Duruji has been a part of the SEC's Men's Basketball Leadership Council and a founding member of UF's Black Student-Athlete Council. Duruji was an SEC First-Year Academic Honor Roll and SEC Community Service Team honoree in 2020 and is a 2021 nominee for SEC Scholar-Athlete of the Year. On the court, Duruji has been a consistent part of the Gators' rotation and a regular in the starting lineup during SEC action and posted a season-high 16 points in Florida's win vs. LSU.
P.J. Horne, Georgia
Graduate transfer P.J. Horne has used his brief time in Athens to help Georgia Basketball make an impact throughout the Athens community. Horne, a native of Tifton, Ga., helped spearhead the men's basketball team's effort to supply Christmas presents to worthy children from the Athens Boys and Girls Club. He also took part in the UGA Athletic Association's "Dawgs for Pups" initiative, which is designed to directly impact local elementary and middle age school children. His additional contributions also include collecting snacks for kids with the Food Bank of Northeast Georgia, a coat drive for area children and collecting toiletries with Athens' Bigger Vision Community Shelter.
Olivier Sarr, Kentucky
He has engaged in nearly 100 hours of community service throughout his collegiate career spit between Wake Forest and Kentucky. Some of his favorite projects include: "Project Pumpkin," which was a Halloween-themed carnival for kids, "Hit the Bricks," a run to raise awareness and funds for cancer research, "Campus Kitchens" where he would deliver meals to needy neighborhoods, and his visits to the local children's hospital. The hospital visits are what he lists as the most meaningful to him as he interacted with patients and families of children faced with life-threatening injuries and illnesses. The COVID-19 pandemic has halted a number of traditional Kentucky community service projects, but Sarr and his teammates did participate in the annual Christmas drive where the team - with the support of the Calipari's and local businesses - selects around 10-12 families to provide food, gifts, rent checks and other needs to identified families. He also has participated in several Zoom sessions to help inspire local elementary-school aged children.
Aundre Hyatt, LSU
LSU's representative on the Student-Athlete Advisory Committee which helps to assist the creation of an environment where all student-athletes have the opportunity to maximize their academic, athletic, personal and social growth. Also serves on the executive committee of the recently established Black Student-Athlete Association which exists to create a safe space and advocacy channel for Black-identifying student-athletes at LSU. Helped with the organization of the Tigers United campaign and an athletic student and staff march and event outside the Maravich Center prior to the start of the school year. Been involved in PSA campaigns for the organization and Black History Month. In years before COVID, took part in several team activities in the community such as the Halloween BOO-Zar and Coach Wade's annual Christmas shopping event with the local Boys and Girls Club at a local department store.
Jarkel Joiner, Ole Miss
As a native of Oxford, it makes sense that Ole Miss guard Jarkel Joiner wants to make an impact on the community. The junior is involved in several community service projects in his hometown. Joiner regularly reads to students across his home state of Mississippi as a part of our Reading with the Rebels Program. He has been able to share stories selected by teachers to promote reading and good behavior in elementary schools. Joiner is passionate about this activity and encourages students to read frequently and to others. He joined this program as a part of the Stronger Together MS initiative that focuses on encouraging reading by students in Pre-K through 3rd grades. Joiner also led efforts for Adopt A Basket, feeding local families during the holiday season. He helped spearhead the project, giving back to the local community to ensure those in need have food during this time. Finally, since student-athletes have not been allowed into local schools due to the COVID-19 pandemic, Joiner and his teammates have found opportunities to engage with elementary students virtually.
Abdul Ado, Mississippi State
Abdul Ado has been an active member in his community. Ado has spent a great amount of time impacting the youth in the area at various summer camps, most notably the Palmer Home for Children Summer Camp and Camp Rising Sun. At the Palmer Home for Children Summer Camp, Ado spent the day teaching and playing basketball with the foster kids that resided at the Palmer Home in Columbus, Mississippi. He graduated in December 2020 with a Bachelor of Science in interdisciplinary studies and is now pursuing a graduate degree.
Mitchell Smith, Missouri
Despite the pandemic, Mitchell Smith has been the catalyst for Mizzou's community service efforts. Mitchell is heavily involved with Playing 4 Hope, a Columbia-based non-profit that gives back to children in hospitals with various medical conditions. As part of that initiative, Mitchell has sent videos and interacted with several patients to provide hope during difficult times. Additionally, Mitchell is involved with the Adventure Club, an after-school program in the area for youth. He's also given back to the Rainbow House, a local shelter for domestic/child abuse victims, delivering toys and spending time with those impacted. The team as a whole is very involved with the Food Bank, volunteering hours packing up food for those in need. Mitchell has been the senior leader in charge of scheduling those. Additionally, Mitchell was appointed to the SEC's Council on Racial Equity & Social Justice. He's been a champion for Mizzou Hoops in the fight against social injustice, participating in marches and encouraging teammates to do the same. Before every game, a message of unity is shared to fans and everyone in attendance on the videoboard and Mitch insisted on being the voiceover for that video. He's a true leader on and off the court in a variety of
Alanzo Frink, South Carolina
Junior forward Alanzo Frink has participated in numerous community outreach initiatives during his time in the Garnet and Black. He has joined his teammates for the 8K Community Outreach Campaign during the summer months, including participating in events at the Palmetto Children's Hospital, with Curing Kids Cancer, and he has also visited the Ronald McDonald House. During the annual community outreach campaign, Alanzo spent time at Sowing Seeds, helping with a gardening project, and he also volunteered at a summer camp for kids at the YMCA. At the Ronald McDonald House, he and his teammates hosted a luau for families, while Alanzo also spent time visiting with veterans and their families at the Dorn VA Medical Center in Columbia. Trips to Meadowfield Elementary School and Transitions also highlight Alanzo's impact in the community.
John Fulkerson, Tennessee
Redshirt-senior forward John Fulkerson has logged more than 75 service hours since arriving in Knoxville in the Fall of 2016. He has primarily served at the Emerald Youth Foundation of Knoxville, Tennessee basketball's annual Hoops for Hope event and at the East Tennessee Children's Hospital. In all three avenues, Fulkerson has cultivated lasting relationships with the youth of Knoxville, making an impact that reaches far beyond the confines of Tennessee's campus. Due to the lasting effects of COVID-19, a number of the events Fulkerson would normally participate in in-person transitioned to virtual platforms. Despite the challenges, the Kingsport, Tennessee, native has continued to shine a light for others, exemplifying the Volunteer Creed, "One who beareth the torch, shadoweth oneself to give light to others." Fulkerson has also been an integral member of Tennessee's branch of the Student-Athlete Advisory Committee, a role he has held for the past two years. He once again has helped facilitate and plan a number of virtual events this year, allowing not only himself, but his fellow student-athletes to make a positive impact on their community through these unique and challenging times.
Emanuel Miller, Texas A&M
Miller participates in Buzz's Bunch, which is a program started by head coach Buzz Williams with the primary objective of helping children with special needs come together socially while hopefully jumpstarting a passion for the game of basketball. Miller, a representative in the Student-Athlete Advisory Committee (SAAC), whose vision is to unify campus, especially between the student body and student-athletes, as well as unify the student-athletes. The committee gives back to the Brazos Valley with community service projects such as Aggies Can, the largest student-athlete volunteer run canned food drive in the nation, as well as Aggies Build and the Big Event. This year, Miller engaged with community leaders during the team's Tough Tuesday Talks that featured special guests including Senator Corey Booker, record producer 9th Wonder, inspirational speaker and former pro athlete Chris Singleton, motivational speaker and best-selling author Damon West, author and community leader Tru Pettigrew, Texas A&M University police officers and athletics staff members.
Isaiah Rice, Vanderbilt
Rice continues as a role model to many, including his teammates, with his commitment to community. He has once again been an integral part in raising money for the Monroe Carell Jr. Children's Hospital at Vanderbilt as the Dancing Dores captain for the men's basketball program. He has led his team in fundraising each of the last three seasons and was a top-five fundraiser for all of Vanderbilt University in 2019. Rice also hosted the team's Miracle Child at basketball practices and games over the last two years. Prior to the pandemic, Rice started a program called 'Boys 2 Men' at Buena Vista Elementary School where he mentored a group of five students. Also prior to this year, he worked a donation drive to collect household items, served a Thanksgiving meal, participated in Field Day and facilitated a basketball clinic for second graders. He also participated in the Hurricane Harvey Flood Drive, served dinner to those in need at the Nashville Rescue Mission, read to students at Percy Priest Elementary Readathon and played bingo with patients in Ryan Seacrest Studios at the Children's H