BEAUMONT, Texas – Lamar athletics gave back in many different ways throughout the fall semester as part of the annual Southland Gives Back Initiative. Service for the Cardinals was not limited to one team or month in the semester as efforts to help the community began prior to the football season and culminated following Tropical Storm Imelda.The Lamar football team kicked off the semester by gathering to paint local homes, leading up to the start of preseason camp. Less than a month later, the LU baseball team reported to campus early in order to aid move-in efforts for incoming freshman before classes began. Four weeks later, the Lamar campus was struck by Tropical Storm Imelda and student-athletes and coaches from across the department sprang into action to help the city get back on its feet.In the 48 hours immediately following Imelda, the Cardinals’ volleyball and women’s basketball teams broke from their normal practice and competition schedules to assist in the cleanup and daily needs of Beaumont families impacted by the storm.Head men’s basketball coach Tic Price even led his team in efforts following the storm by reaching out to men’s and women’s basketball coaches around the country from across all levels. Price asked for items be dispersed to families in need, with the initial request calling for clothing items. Responses came rolling in and supplies were nothing short of spectacular as more than 40 universities and two conference offices answered the call.Within days of Price’s request, the athletic department began receiving travel gear, polos, shoes caps sweatshirts and pants. In addition to the clothing gathered by the Cardinals’ athletic department, toiletries and other necessary items were also collected for families. Upon receiving items, the Lamar men’s basketball program then began reaching out to local schools and churches to organize drop off and distribution schedules.“Following Hurricane Harvey, I thought what the Houston basketball program did was a great initiative,” said Price. “We had coaches reaching out to us asking if there was something they could do to help. After speaking with Kelvin Sampson at Houston, I reached out to the NABC and they posted the information. After that we began reaching out through our various social media platforms and through our local media and it really took off. Just a few days later we had a room stacked with boxes because folks have such a giving spirit. We wanted to do whatever we could to help provide those suffering with a sense of normalcy.”Lamar athletics has also been a part of various other community service activities within the Golden Triangle, including handing out meals to families following the tropical storm. Student-athletes have also worked within the community to help rebuild the South Park Community Garden, assisted with the Buckner Children’s Home and even participated in the Alzheimer’s Walk.As part of the “Southland Gives Back” initiative, the Southland Conference will profile a community service outing from each of our 13 member institutions this holiday season.