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Volunteer Spotlight: Brad Barnhart

Brad Barnhart’s first involvement with San Antonio Sports came in 1998 when we hosted the NCAA Final Four. In 2019, Brad re-connected with our non-profit after being away for 20 years traveling other parts of the world with the U.S. Air Force. “I resumed volunteering with San Antonio Sports because it’s fun! The athletes in events dedicate hours of hard work and often sacrifice personal opportunities to prepare for their athletic challenges. I really appreciate the opportunity to be part of their adventure.”  

Brad has been a valuable member of the team as he understands how sports events work from past experiences. “I’ve been an athlete all my life and often been part of game operations, so I recognize the critical role volunteers play to make every event run smoothly.” 

A keen basketball player himself, Brad’s favorite event is the UIL Basketball Championships in the Alamodome. “I’ve been a basketball player my whole life and appreciate the nuances of the sport. It’s great to see the excitement in the players’ eyes as I escort them into the arena for the first time.”  The power of sport is also evident at this event. “Seeing the emotions, from the thrill of winning to the pain of losing, always leaves an impact on me as I know they will remember these games for the rest of their lives.  It makes me very proud to be a part of the event.” 

Brad hails from a small town, and his most memorable moment volunteering happened while escorting a small school team at the UIL Basketball Championship which covers 1A to 6A teams. “I graduated from a class of 33 students, so I can appreciate the challenges and politics that go along with small town sports.  Preparing to depart the Dome after defeat, the coach and his wife both made a point to walk out of their way to shake my hand and say thanks for helping the team with the visit.  It is one of the most genuine thanks I’ve ever received and it made me feel like much more than a volunteer at that event.”

Brad credits San Antonio Sports’ programs for helping communities in San Antonio and the nation, and expressed the fulfilment that volunteering can bring. “Just as the athletes are preparing for the events, volunteering takes time and effort, but the experiences are well worth it.” We appreciate the passion and time that Brad brings to the team!

Methodist Sports Medicine Shoots High at NCAA D1 Basketball Championships

At the NCAA Women’s DI Basketball Championship, Methodist Sports Medicine was called up to serve as the medical coordinators for the tournament at the Alamodome and Convention Center. During the competition, they provided equipment and supplies, medical care, and COVID-19 testing. To meet the NCAA’s needs, Methodist Sports Medicine had 113 staff covering the tournament, including 5 athletic trainers for the athletes. 

Sam McCrary co-director at Methodist Sports Medicine oversaw the entire medical program for the tournament. “One of the highlights of the experience was being able to set up the COVID-19 testing for the 64 teams. At the last minute, we were asked to step in and help and within four days our team had created a software that securely housed all the medical information of the athletes.” The team’s collective effort with such limited time created a successful system that registered and logged all 64 women’s basketball teams’ COVID results and had a texting method that quickly gave the athletes and staff their results. Overall, the Methodist Sports Medicine team spent 3,700 hours administrating COVID tests for the traveling parties.

The Methodist Sports Medicine team dealt with several challenges during the tournament, including moving appropriate equipment into the Alamodome and Convention Center. “The buildings were not designed to house equipment like MRI machines for care and treatment of the players, so it took the team time, but we made it work.” Another challenge the team faced was building a COVID secure environment. All the players were quarantined but needed to be transported for care and treatment safely. 

Throughout the championship, Methodist Sports Medicine was on call for teams in case they needed any assistance. The schools greatly appreciated the help that was given and how smoothly the process went during such an unusual time. When not giving treatment to the players, Sam and the team had the opportunity to watch the matches. “It was fun to watch the players in action who we had been giving treatment to and cared for during the championship.” It took an extensive amount of coordination and support from all team members of the Methodist Sports Medicine throughout the event; they faced some obstacles but were able to succeed and provide expert and compassionate sports medicine care. 

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