(WTVR) – The folks at the Forest Hill Target opened their entire store to the VCU Rams players, coaches and support staff for their annual “Shop with the Rams” event on Sunday. But in all honesty, they only had to worry about the toy aisles.
Head coach Will Wade brought his players to this store as his predecessor Shaka Smart has for the past 6 years to help some less fortunate kids pick out items for themselves and their families. 50 children from the Northside YMCA and the Boys and Girls Club of Richmond each got a pizza party and a $100 gift card from Target to use on anything they liked.
“We’ll coach them up and try to stay on budget” said Wade. “But I’m a sucker so we’ll go over budget. We went over every year when I was an assistant. We have a hard time telling them no.”
Wade tried to take this tradition with him when he became the head coach at UT-Chattanooga but because of timing and sponsorship, it never worked out. When he returned to VCU he made it a point to continue a tradition he calls one of his favorites.
"I thought it was a great experience for our players and great for the community" Wade said. "It's great for our guys to understand that, things might be tough, but there are people that have it a lot worse off than we do. It helps keep things in perspective."
While the Rams may be helping make a few Christmases brighter with the event, some of them won't be celebrating as much themselves. The Rams have a practice scheduled for Christmas day as they will play four times between now and the 27th, starting Tuesday night at Georgia Tech