America East Conference

Helping Hands Team: Bennett and Gibbs Named


LOWELL, Mass. – Forward Kayla Gibbs (Teaneck, N.J.) of the UMass Lowell Women’s Basketball team and forward Connor Bennett (Wilmington, Mass.) of the River Hawk Men’s Basketball team, two of eighteen student-athletes from America East institutions, were named to the conference’s 2018 Helping Hands Team that was announced on Tuesday evening at the conference’s annual awards dinner.

The America East Helping Hands Team, in its fifth year, was established to recognize a male and female student-athlete from each of the nine America East institutions for their exemplary efforts in the area of community service, while remaining in good academic standing.

Gibbs served as the women’s basketball service leader, as she was always coordinating the program’s community outreach and finding organizations for the players to volunteer at. The senior would also head to the Lowell Boys & Girls Club on her own time, and was out delivering the team’s special Field Trip Day jersey’s to the schools that participated in the event. As a part of an experience fulfillment for local fifth graders, the duo helped lead a gym class and spoke to the students about the importance of furthering their education and following their dreams.

Bennett was recently voted as the President of the UMass Lowell Student-Athlete Advisory Committee (SAAC), after serving on the SAAC Executive Board this past year. He also assisted with the America East Food Frenzy initiative, and served as a Team IMPACT liaison for the men’s basketball program. In the classroom, Bennett takes part in a Community Service Learning course, where he spends time working with children with autism.

Each institution, at its discretion, selects a male and female representative to be recognized annually by the America East Conference. The winners represent 14 different sports and are a mix of classes with nine seniors, six juniors and three sophomores being honored.

The America East Conference provides its member schools, and their athletic programs, a platform upon which student-athletes can achieve both collegiate and life success through the promotion and nurturing of athletic excellence, academic achievement and leadership, on and off the field.

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