basketball-women-d2 flag

Rachel Stark | NCAA Champion Magazine | November 10, 2017

Second-graders fill Pittsburg State's Mikaela Burgess' cheering section

  Second graders fill their student teachers section during one of Mikaela Burgess' games.

Mikaela Burgess had never played before a crowd quite like this. “Miss Burgess, Miss Burgess!” they shouted as she warmed up, beaming when the senior guard and captain for the Pittsburg State women’s basketball team paused to give them high-fives.

RELATED: A new look Top 5 highlights preseason poll

It was the Gorillas’ season debut, an exhibition game that drew nearly 2,500 fans — including around 1,800 excited and energetic students from local elementary schools. But likely the most excited and energetic of them all? The 24 second-graders from Carl Junction, Missouri, who got to watch their student teacher, Burgess, compete on the court for the first time.

In the weeks leading up to the game, Burgess and her cooperating teacher, Alicia Shorter, had weaved basketball into their class planning, alternating between significant life lessons (how hard work allowed Burgess to play college basketball), fun facts (who was Michael Jordan) and practical basketball know-how (counting points).

MORE: Chico State star plays through spina bifida

So when the final score of the opener flashed 91-48 in favor of Pittsburg State, their students knew what that meant — to a degree. “Miss Burgess,” they exclaimed, “you scored 91 points!”

Sweaty and laughing, the student-athlete seized on yet another teaching moment — just after soaking in, for only a few seconds, that sweet second-grade stardom.

The 11 most played rivalries in DII football history

South Dakota School of Mines and Black Hills State will face off for the 134th time in their history, making it the most played rivalry in DII football. Here's the complete list.
READ MORE

DII football: 5 bold preseason predictions, revisited halfway through the 2019 season

Let's look back and grade our 5 bold preseason predictions for the 2019 DII football season at the midway point.
READ MORE

The winningest teams in DII football history

Let's take a look at the DII football teams with the most wins, best winning percentage, and most championships throughout history.
READ MORE

Subscribe To Email Updates

Enter your information to receive emails about offers, promotions from NCAA.com and our partners