Wisconsin Badgers visit Sanford Children’s Hospital

Local News

The Wisconsin Badgers are in town Tuesday night to take on St. Mary’s in a NCAA college basketball match-up at the Pentagon.

But before they take to the court, the team stopped by the Sanford Children’s Hospital where they made some new fans.

They say nobody stands taller as when they stoop down to help a child, that includes the Wisconsin Badger basketball team.

Today, these players put basketball on the sidelines for just a moment to brighten the faces of young children who are hospitalized at the Castle of Care, some who are taking on a much bigger opponent.

“It’s always a special privilege whenever we get to come to Children’s Hospital, whether it’s in Madison, or if it’s in South Dakota, just the opportunity to give back and to be in a community means the world to us this is extreme opportunity,” junior guard Brad Davison said.

12-year-old Autumn Willette has been here for three weeks with an e-coli infection.

“She’s been just, you know, cooped up in here and they’re taking really good care of her, but to have visitors and especially big time basketball players has been really great for her, she was super excited for that,” Mandy Willette said.

The players signed posters, t-shirts and basketballs for the kids.

Don Jorgensen: What was the best part?

John: Probably getting the basketball, shirt and meeting all the players.

Players, who may be tall, but still look up to their young fans.

“You know they’re fighting a journey, and they’re battling each and every day and then when we get to come here we can see the smiles on their face and the amount of joy that they live with, it’s inspiring to us, you know a lot of people see us kind of as heroes or as inspirations, but we see them as heroes and inspiration to us,” Davison said.

The Badgers tip-off against St. Mary’s Tuesday night at the Sanford Pentagon at 8. You can watch game on ESPNU.

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