'Big Blue Nation has no border': players team up with Orlando youth for a day at the park

By  | 

ORLANDO, Fla. (WYMT) - UK and Penn State players alike spent the day having fun in the sun at Fun Spot, an Orlando amusement park. Players from both teams were paired up with each other along with kids from the nearby community.

"With Kentucky Football player development, we define our community as the Big Blue Nation and the Big Blue Nation has no borders," said Freddie Maggard, UK's director of player development.

From rollercoasters, bumper cars and everything in between, players say the day is a rewarding experience.

“Just being able to take them around the amusement park, do what they wanna do and just laugh and have fun," said Josh Paschal.

Paschal was diagnosed with melanoma cancer back in early August. He's made through a three-month recovery, playing in UK's final two games. He knows that everyone has their own battle to fight. Some of the kids at the amusement park have overcome obstacles of their own.

Anadia Mullings lost her mother to pancreatic cancer less than a year ago. Sunday was a chance for her to just enjoy her time at the park.

"I still get to go on some rides which is pretty fun so that’s what today is really about, plus it’s my moms birthday so it’s fun," she said.

Anadia's grandmother said she was so grateful for both UK and Penn State.

"It means a lot because we get to give back to them and it’s not about us right now it’s more about them, and just giving them the time.. the time of their life right now," said Paschal.

He spoke at the Fellowship of Christain Athletes event in Orlando on Friday, where he spoke about his journey and his faith.

"Just to spread the word and hopefully change lives and hope other Christians live the right path," Paschal said. "With God anything is possible."

He's like many of the players who know a day like Sunday is incredibly important.

"This is bigger than football you know and all of this is," said C.J.Conrad. "So you know hanging, spending time with the kids and you know being with Penn State and all these kids and putting a smile on their face is way more important than the game.”