Making a Difference a World Away

Gainesville, Fla. – Late June, outstanding women’s basketball in Florida Nimble Broughton had the opportunity to accompany GatorMade for a business trip to Greece. Over the course of 10 days, The Smile of a Child group made a difference by supporting children who are living in poverty, have experienced violence, have health problems or are missing.

A week before the end of her trip, Broughton sat down to reflect on her experiences and the impact they had on her life.

A lot of people may know from social media that you’ve been abroad in Greece, but can you share a little about some of the service work you were able to do there?

“We did a lot of housework and worked in a few orphanages for children who might have been neglected or were going through hard times at home. We helped organize, painted and of course played with the children. A couple of times we played soccer or basketball game, very competitive but it was worth it teaching the children our spirit of service. We were also able to help at a home for the needy and we prepared food for lunch that day .”

You’ve had the opportunity to visit some historical sites and incredible places, did you have a favorite experience or place?

“It honestly wasn’t the museums, I’m a bit of a hiker so we went on a volcano boat tour and I honestly can’t remember the names of the volcanoes but I just went to the top of the volcano and all the different islands looking down… it was a must see place.”

They also had the opportunity to take this trip with other athletes from different sports. Can you talk about the opportunity you’ve had to interact with athletes from sports that you might not see that often?

“The university doesn’t know how much this trip has helped students and athletes come together. A lot of us weren’t familiar with other teams, but we left and made a pact with each other like, ‘We’re going to support each other.’ Unlike this season, we’re going to keep our group chat active and we’re going to stay friends.’ The camaraderie that has emerged from this trip is breathtaking. I can honestly call them my friends now, for which I’m grateful.”

They had a unique dynamic in Greece provided you don’t speak Greek when faced with a language barrier. How were you able to master this challenge?

“So we learned the basic words, like thank you, which probably came out best, but mostly they spoke good enough English for us to understand each other, so honestly it wasn’t that bad.”

We have to ask a foodie question. I’m sure you ate a lot of Greek food during your time, so what was your favorite food you ate?

“It’s difficult because we had quite a lot to choose from. Everything was fantastic. The greek salad when you see what a real salad is with the veggies they were so fresh but i would be honest and that may sound cliche or abnormal but the feta. The cheese there was so good.”

Looking back on the service aspect, you obviously had the opportunity to work with children in many different areas. Was there a moment you took with you that was the strongest for you?

“The most impressive thing for me was our first day, there was this one boy and he was so shy. He hid behind people and we thought ‘We have to break through these walls.’ One of the football players, Donovan McMillon, I was just amazed at how he made it his mission when we got there to get this kid to open up. They actually played the rest of the time we were there. I love this moment.”

Looking back on it, is there anything big that you take away from the trip?

“The biggest thing I will take away is experiencing different cultures. Sometimes we take what we have for granted, sometimes we are unaware of what we don’t have. To be able to share the culture with different people and bring that aspect back here in the US, I’m very grateful for that.

What does it mean to have these opportunities in Florida, knowing that there’s more to it than just basketball?

“You said it right, it’s more than just basketball. This university has provided us with a great resource to do things and hopefully we’ve made a big impact and we can continue to do so in the future for future student athletes.”

Last question for you… What can fans expect from women’s basketball in Florida this season?

“I’ll just say this: we have two mottos on our t-shirts this summer. One is unsatisfied. The other is dissatisfied. I’ll just leave it at that.”

– #GoGators –

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