Fresno State wide receiver Emoryie Edwards (4) facilitates football drills (Amanda Scurlock/L.A. Sentinel)

The Jimmy Kimmel L.A. Bowl gave back to the community by hosting a Day of Play for students at La Tijera Charter Academy. Student Athletes from Washington State and Fresno State visited the school to lead the youth through drills in various sports, including basketball, soccer, and football.

La Tijera Charter principal Brent Tilly sees the event as an opportunity for his students to be mentored on specific techniques of different sports and understand the importance of physical fitness.

“These kids live in Inglewood, their parents work in Inglewood,” Tilly said. “They feel a part of not just the stadium but the [L.A.] Bowl, so it’s a win-win.”

Washington State sophomore tight end Trenton Olson (92) defends La Tijera Academy student (Amanda Scurlock/L.A. Sentinel)

The day of play was a full-circle moment for freshman linebacker Taariq Al-Uqdah who is an alum of Inglewood high school.

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“When I was younger, I wish we could’ve had college athletes or people older who we could look up to and to inspire us and motivate us to do something good,” Al-Uqdah said. “As a kid, I’ve always dreamed of being in a bowl game and being able to do these types of things.”

The Day of Play impacted 250 middle school students, the event not only focused on physical activity but mental health and sportsmanship. For seventh grader Kyla Crawford, the event allowed her to enhance her soccer skills as she prepared to join a team next year.

Fresno State freshman defensive lineman Jahzon Jacks (97) helps students with soccer drills (Amanda Scurlock/L.A. Sentinel)

“It’s really like exciting and fun, especially since we get to see football players,” Crawford said.

After the Day of Play, youth received gear from Fresno State, Washington State, and Warehouse Shoe Source (WSS) along with other items, including backpacks, notebooks, and water bottles.

London Hill, an eighth grader at La Tijera Charter noted how the college student athletes were great to work with.

Washington State freshman linebacker Taariq Al-Uqdah (18) poses with La Tijera Academy student (Amanda Scurlock/L.A. Sentinel)

“We ran routes,” Hill said. “We were just playing defense, we had to run around cones and stuff like that.”

The L.A. Bowl also donated a variety of sporting equipment to La Tijera Charter Academy, including hula hoops, basketballs, footballs, soccer balls, t-shirts, and towels.

“I think it’s awesome, especially this opportunity to do a bowl and be able to come back and give to the community, especially where these kids are growing up and they see all these big sports facilities being built,” said Fresno State offensive lineman Dontae Bull. “I think it’s really important to them. I think it’s just a great opportunity for us to give back to the community.”