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ETTRICK, Va.- The Virginia State University Athletics Department received a unique opportunity to get life lessons from local federal inmates at the department's Inaugural Conflict Resolution: Back to Reality Program on August 24 in Daniel Gymnasium. In conjunction with the VSU Counseling Center, Athletics was able to hear life stories and ask questions of five inmates.vsu athletes in daniels gym

Dressed in their green outfits, the inmates spoke on the choices you have in life and that bad habit can progress and change you forever. Together the five inmates have to serve a combined 95 years in prison. Throughout the program, the inmates used the words habit and choice, to convey their messages. They expressed good people make bad decisions and that you should not be a follower.

One inmate sparked the attention of the student-athletes because he played sports and pursued a career in professional basketball. His advice to the student-athletes was to "Maximize your potential as a student-athlete and have a game plan. Don't be a bench warmer in the game of life!"

The coaches and student-athletes were very engaged and proactive in the question and answer section of the program. Several questions were geared toward personal issues in regards to family and friends, while others simply asked the inmates about the lifestyle they chose prior to incarceration.

The final words the inmates left with the audience were to "create good habits to avoid shortcuts."

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