PORT ANGELES — Boxed out from volunteering with traditional partners such as the Boys & Girls Clubs of the Peninsula and the Dungeness Crab and Seafood Festival, Peninsula College men’s basketball players lent a helping hand with another community cause this week.
Pirate players joined volunteers and staff of Lighthouse Christian Center and Convoy of Hope in unloading and packing non-perishable food and household items for distribution to those impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic.
Distribution will begin at 9 a.m. Saturday at the church, 304 Viewcrest Ave., and continue while supplies last.
Lighthouse will practice distancing protocols through a drive-through distribution method. Drivers will be asked to open their trunk, and volunteers will load the supplies of pre-packed bags.
“Servant leadership is a quality that extends far beyond basketball,” Pirates men’s basketball Coach Donald Rollman said. “[I] feel more fortunate than anything else that we’re in a position to help 500 families in our community. Our guys understand that you don’t have to help, you get to help.”
Rollman said Peninsula College landscape supervisor Kevin Size, who also doubles as Lighthouse’s pastor, reached out to Rollman requesting assistance.
“As soon as Kevin emailed us asking for help, we were on it,” Rollman said. “It’s nice to know the community thinks about our guys.”
Rollman said Size answered the call for the Pirates, particularly during heavy snow storms that closed campus the last couple of seasons.
“He’s been there for us to dig out a path to the gym for our guys to practice during crucial points of the season,” Rollman said.
The Pirates will wrap offseason workouts today, and players will head home for the holidays, continuing their online course work and not returning to campus until 2021 season practices begin Jan. 2.
“A month is a longer break than any coach in the country would want,” Rollman said. “The structure that we had during this portion of fall quarter has really helped them focus. We’ve had great workout, weight room and study hall sessions, and losing that structure, that’s what you see that’s hurting a lot of people.
“So we will do our best to make sure our guys stay in shape, get their academic work done, and we’ll continue to meet over Zoom to see each others’ faces. It will be different, for sure, but getting guys some time at home with their families is important.”
Rollman and the Pirates are expected to open their season Feb. 20.
Sports reporter Michael Carman can be contacted at 360-406-0674 or [email protected] news.com.