NFL star Rob Gronkowski (center) poses with La Tijera principal Robbie Tate (Amanda Scurlock/L.A. Sentinel)

Student Athletes from the UCLA and Boise State football teams visited La Tijera Academy of Excellence for the LA Bowl Day of Play.

“They’re interacting with the kids, they’re showing the kids the possibilities they can have once they graduate from high school,” said La Tijera Academy Principal Robbie Tate. “This is something that has been here at La Tijera for the last three years, so I appreciate the consistency and I know the kids look forward to this.”

The student athletes facilitated basketball, flag football, soccer, and volleyball clinics as well as scrimmages. Giving back to the youth allows players to bond with their teammates and reflect on their youth.

“It’s really awesome and to share these memories with my brothers, it’s really cool,” said Boise State wide receiver Chase Penry. “It’s amazing to try and inspire the youth is such a great feeling.”

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La Tijera students competing in basketball with a UCLA senior linebacker Ale Kaho (1) (Amanda Scurlock/L.A. Sentinel)

LA Bowl host Rob Gronkowski, also known as Gronk, attended the Day of Play to engage in athletic activities with the youth. Both the students of La Tijera and the college student athletes were elated to meet the four-time Super Bowl Champion who played as a tight end for 11 seasons in the NFL.

“Thank you guys, both teams coming here and participating in all the activities the LA Bowl offers,” Gronk said. “Being here at this school as well, showing the kids the way, bringing the players here, being a great example out in the public.”

La Tijera eighth-grade student Ny’zire Flowers has participated in all the annual LA Bowl Day of Play events. He appreciated how the Bowl game hosted the event.

“This is my first time meeting Gronk and it’s amazing for us to have a celebrity here,” Flowers said. “I hope we can remember this when we get older and go to high school.”

UCLA junior running back Deshun Murrell (31) dances with student (Amanda Scurlock/L.A. Sentinel)

For UCLA junior running back Deshun Murrell not only facilitated drills but did dances with the youth.

“Make them laugh and be one of them, just get back to being a kid, not being so authoritative and being so demanding,” Murrell said. “I grew up in a small town and we didn’t really have much of this so being able to come to LA and experience this, something that I wanted as a kid, it’s great to give back.”

The gas company Shell provided swag bags to the students.

“A lot of [students] recognize a lot of our staff who’ve come back year over year,” said SoFi Stadium director of community affairs Jason Witt. “It’s all fun for them today. Get out, get healthy.”