By Sara White

In light of his death, at the beginning of our season our team wanted to honor Muhammad Ali’s legacy by making his story central to ours. We discuss his quotes together and have found words that speak to us and motivate us to play with his confidence on the softball field instead of in the boxing ring. After our games against Louisville last weekend, some of us visited the Muhammad Ali Center. It was amazing getting to learn about and experience Ali’s philanthropic life and inspirational boxing career. First, we waited for our film screening on Muhammad Ali’s life, that included a history of his fights, religious commitment, and civil rights activism.

Kimmy, Ali, Maddie, Melissa, Karley, Alexis, Dana, and Sara in front of Ali’s charismatic faces outside the film screening

After the film (that brought us all to tears, by the way), we got to walk through exhibits that traced the historical 60’s time period that Ali grew up in and read inspirational quotes from Ali. His humor and charisma are still profoundly remembered today as a show of his steadfast confidence, but he also voiced a more serious side when he expressed his vision as an athlete.

The most fun part of the Muhammad Ali Center was the interactive exhibit where visitors could step into a boxing ring, pretend to box Ali (like Kimmy did), or practice their punches on a punching bag (like Alexis did)!

We had so much fun visiting the Muhammad Ali Center and we are grateful that we got to reflect on Ali’s lasting legacy as an athlete, philanthropist, and activist. People often forget that he was more than just a fighter, he impacted many lives with his charity and we hope to carry the same spirit in our play on the field as well as in our community.

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