Big Ten Conference athletes, coaches visited Selma

Published 7:05 am Tuesday, July 18, 2023

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The Big Ten and Pac-12 conferences visited Selma on Saturday.

The second edition of the “Big Life Series: Selma to Montgomery” began as over 140 student-athletes, coaches and administrators stuffed back-to-school backpacks for a local school.

Selma Mayor James Perkins Jr., Lynda Blackman Lowery and Warren Billy Young all gave speeches during a program at First Baptist Church.

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The Big Ten Conference was presented a Proclamation of Gratitude from the Selma City Council and a key to the city.

“For all of your successes, for all of your challenges, for all of your opportunities, for all of your setbacks, may God be the Glory,” Perkins said.

Young said that he enjoyed the Big Ten’s visit to the Queen City.

“It was such an honor hosting the Big  Ten in Selma,” Young said. “Commissioner Tony Petiti, student-athletes, coaches and athletic directors were outstanding. Not only was I grateful to have them in my hometown, but I also got the chance to share with the history of my church and its involvement in the Civil Rights movement.”

After the program, the Big Ten officials crossed the Edmund Pettus Bridge.

Hamsika Arnipalli, a sophomore fencer at Ohio State, said she appreciated being part of the tour.

“The speakers gave me a deeper understanding, they are live history and hearing their perspectives really drove home how recent this is and why it is a major impact,” Arnipalli said.

Petiti said the trip was a life-changer.

“This is something that you will take with you for the rest of your life.”

The 2023 “Big Life Series: Selma to Montgomery” trip was sponsored in part by the Capital One Orange Bowl and the Tournament of Roses Association and Rose Bowl Game.