By: Kasey Barrow and Beckie Boyd
West Virginia University student-athlete, Adam Hensley, dedicates his time to more than academics and WVU football.
Although community service is not required in the WVU football program, Hensley takes it upon himself to give back to the community that continues to support him. He encourages other players to do so as well.
“I think it is so important to give back to the people that support you,” said Hensley. “Especially, in this state, on this platform, I think it is imperative to show [our supporters] that you really care about them and you care about the community.”
In a recent community service opportunity, Hensley was among several WVU football players who attended the 2019 Get Moving! Mini Day of Play at Mylan Park Elementary School on Sept. 23.
The Mini Day of Play leads up to the organization’s 7th Annual Day of Play on March 14, 2020 that brings back former WVU football players from the NFL.
Get Moving! is a campaign established to combat childhood obesity through physical activity. WVU athletes lead a variety of stations where students can participate in various drills; such as throwing a football, quick feet, racing and running receiver routes.
“It kinda brings the kid out in you,” said Hensley. “When I make a kid smile, I see myself. I see my little self smiling.”
Several WVU football players also volunteer at the WVU Children’s Hospital, local elementary schools and many of the Get Moving! Days of Play. With countless hours of community service under his belt, Hensley sees many of the same smiling faces.
“There is one kid I see, his name’s Lebron... He’s this cute little kid. He’s just a ball of fun and energy. He always comes up and gives me a hug,” Hensley said, smiling.
Children like Lebron motivate Hensley to return to community service opportunities despite his busy schedule.
“We’ll be running around, not only at the Day of Play, but at recess. You’ll be playing tag with kids and you’ll be winded and tired, but you’ve got practice in half-an-hour,” said Hensley. “It gives you a certain type of energy that really gets you through the day.”
There is also a certain energy from the Morgantown community that drew Hensley from Centerville, Ohio.
“[Morgantown has] a home feeling,” he said. “This place is definitely special. You carry a lot of responsibility, representing [West Virginia].”
Hensley was a high school football recruit from Centerville High School where he was a two-year starter for coach Rodney Roberts. Unknowingly after recruitment, the responsibility of representing the great state of West Virginia was present before Hensley stepped on the West Virginia University campus.
“I remember, even when I was in high school recruit, I was selling value cards for a fundraiser and a guy wearing a WVU hat came up to me - I was already committed at that point - I told him [that I committed] and he got goosebumps. He told me it’s nothing like you’ll ever experience anywhere else. That sold me...and it’s the truth.” That moment stayed with Hensley.
With the many community service opportunities that Hensley has participated in, he intends to continue serving his community, near Centerville, Ohio, after graduation.
“Regardless of what I end up doing, I think community service will be a big part of my life. I don’t think it matters what kind of job I have; it could be a part of the job. It’s just a part of me and my experiences here. Experiences like the Day of Play build upon that.”
Adam expressed that his family in Centerville is what makes him who he is today. They have had a big impact on his interest in studying mechanical engineering and his love for serving his community.
“[My family has] really big hearts. I think that’s where I get it from,” Hensley said, smiling. “Especially my mom, she is the most gregarious, loving person ever...I give credit to [my family] in all of the things that I do.”
Family. Service. Mountaineers.