ANGOLA, IND.-- When recruiting future members for the Thunder men's basketball team, Trine head coach Brooks Miller and assistant coach Kyle Lindsay look for specific skills that can help separate certain prospects from others.
Some of these skills obviously include shooting, passing, and dribbling, while also taking into consideration, size, strength, and athleticism. However, one of the unique questions often asked to prospective student-athletes by the Trine coaching staff on their campus visit is "Are you afraid of dogs?"
This is because for the past four seasons under Miller, the Thunder men's basketball team has been volunteering at the Steuben County Humane Society for an hour a week in the fall, walking all the dogs at the shelter.
"I would definitely consider myself a dog lover but growing up on a farm I can probably say I have a soft spot for any animal- especially those that are left at shelters" said Miller.
He feels that walking the dogs on these fall afternoons has been an activity that has provided a strong sense of selflessness that is necessary to be successful both on the court and in life in general.
"I think it has been a collective way for our players to assist in making a difference in the lives of other people by helping to prepare these animals for adoption," said Miller.
Members of the team also see the value in spending time giving back to the community.
"Volunteering at the Humane Society has been a good experience because it has been a way for the team to give back to the city of Angola and say thanks for their support," said senior co-captain Dustin Hall. "Walking the dogs at the Humane Society has also been a chance to get to know his teammates on another level outside of the gym."
Coach Miller reflects that "It has been great to see our young men work together and embrace this activity over the years. Our team is quite proud of what they represent here at Trine University and have a strong understanding of what it means to be a part of the Angola community."
The Trine men's basketball team is coming off a 15-11 season that saw the Thunder finish third in the MIAA. The team opens the regular-season Saturday, Nov. 15 at Heidelberg.