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.

5 standout performances from the DII fall football season

These are 5 of the most impressive performances from the DII fall football season in 2020.
READ MORE

DII football and DII college basketball roundup

There were plenty of thrills on Halloween around the world of DII sports. Here's what you missed and a look ahead at the action-packed DII football schedule for November 7 and contenders for the DII college basketball season.
READ MORE

DII football: Pittsburg State vs. Nebraska Kearney takeaways

One team dominated the air. The other the ground. Pittsburg State and Nebraska-Kearney went head-to-head on DII football Saturday, and put on a high-scoring fare in the first MIAA football game of the season.
READ MORE

Subscribe To Email Updates

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