KNOXVILLE, Tenn. — University of Tennessee football players Jack Jones and Kyle Phillips and men's basketball player Admiral Schofield recently returned from two weeks in Vietnam on a trip through the school's VOLeaders Academy.
The three junior athletes were led by Joe Scogin, who oversees the Thornton Athletics Student Life Center as a UT senior associate athletic director and assistant provost.
"Our main goal was just to tell how sport can bring unity to people from all over and all different places and how it can bring people together," said Phillips, whose mother, Teresa, was a Girls Preparatory School and Vanderbilt standout and has been Tennessee State's athletic director for 15 years.
"Even though we're American and they're from Vietnam, sports still bring us together in some form or fashion."
The group visited a local university and an orphanage and worked athletic camps with children, among other things, during the trip.
Phillips noted that most of the facilities they visited were below typical American standards, lacking things such as air conditioning.
"But they still enjoyed what they did and enjoyed what they did have and were appreciative," the defensive end from Nashville said. "That's something I can take and implement with our team, is just know that you don't have to have the best of the best to be successful. You've just got to work with what you've got."
EducateEmpowerEngageAt every stop on our trip we passed along bands bearing our message. Safe to say they were a BIG hit pic.twitter.com/aa6oAFe5LC— VOLeaders Academy (@VOLeaders) July 21, 2017
Jones, a 6-foot-4, 312-pound offensive lineman, said the plane ride was "a little tight" but the trip exceeded his expectations.
"Their country is on the rise in the business world," Jones said. "You meet these people and they'll have a side gig they're starting up or a business or something. So it was really cool to talk to the younger generation. We visited a college one day and it was cool to seem them really, really thriving. It was cool to see that growth."
This article is written by David Cobb from Chattanooga Times Free Press, Tenn. and was legally licensed via the Tribune Content Agency through the NewsCred publisher network. Please direct all licensing questions to firstname.lastname@example.org.