“There’s nothing better:” Marquette men’s basketball team buys Christmas presents for homeless kids

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WAUWATOSA -- Just about everyone this time of year loves to play Santa and give presents. But as we know, not everyone is able to buy presents. That's where the Marquette men's basketball tame stepped in to help.btg

Just days before Christmas, the Marquette basketball team hit the Wauwatosa Meijer -- but senior, Luke Fischer, and the rest of his teammates weren't buying gifts for anyone they knew.

"We got a chance to come out here and shop for some toys for some little boys and girls that are way less fortunate than we are and we are just excited to give back to the community," said Fischer.

The toys and gifts will be going to the homeless children right here in Milwaukee.btg5

"We're buying toys to help out some homeless families celebrate Christmas this year. So we all had a little budget to buy toys and try and make their Christmas as best it could be," said Sam Hauser, Marquette basketball player.

Coach Steve Wojciechowski

Coach Steve Wojciechowski

Head Coach Steve Wojciechowski says this is just part of the responsibility of playing at Marquette.

"The service component is a huge part of Marquette University and for our guys we want to always use our platform to give back to the community and what better time than the holiday season to put a smile on kids faces on Christmas day," said Coach Wojciechowski.

After shopping, the team then delivered the gifts to the Milwaukee Rescue Mission.

Tom Griffey works at the Rescue Mission, and says the huge donation will help hundreds of children who wouldn't get anything without Marquette's help.

"The mothers are not able to buy toys for the kids so we are going to have volunteers wrap those toys and they are going to give them to the moms and the moms are going to give them to the kids, Christmas Eve is going to be a great celebration here at the Milwaukee Rescue Mission," said Griffey.btg7

The team also took a quick tour of the Rescue Mission and brought sodas and talked with some of the men who are getting help there.

"When the students not only gave them soda, they asked how they were doing, they were interacting with them and that's really great that the student-athletes are doing this," said Griffey.

"Everyone on this team cares for one another, cares for the community and we want to give back and just want to show the Milwaukee community how much we love them," said Fischer.btg4

And everyone involved with the teams says days like these put basketball and everything else in perspective.

"This is bigger than basketball, helping out people who don't have a home and can't really celebrate Christmas so, just doing this is really special," said Hauser.

"Obviously we are very serious about basketball but in the grand scheme of things, doing things like this where you're able to help other people out, especially during the holiday season is so much more important than bouncing a ball," said Coach Wojciechowski.btg2

"Basketball is a great blessing for us, but there are certain things off the court that you just can't change and you can't be more thankful for, and this is one them that you know, basketball is a big part of our lives but this really shows what we can do," Fischer said.

Freshman Sam Hauser adds that it also does something for the spirit.

"It makes you feel really good, especially around the holidays, there's nothing better than being happy on Christmas and helping out others," said Hauser.

Sam Hauser

Sam Hauser

The Milwaukee Rescue Mission will hold its Christmas celebration Saturday on Christmas Eve -- that's when all the toys will be handed out. They also will serve a turkey with all the trimmings all thanks to donations and the help of around 110 volunteers.