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Mercer men's basketball and the McDuffie Center for Strings bring their worlds together

Mercer University's men's basketball team partnered with the McDuffie Center for Strings for the second time in 6 years

When you think of basketball, classical music may not come to mind, but Mercer University's men's basketball team and students from McDuffie's Center for Strings came together in perfect harmony.

Senior basketball player Cory Kilby says they're more alike than you'd think.

"There really are a lot of similarities between athletes and musicians in the way that we prepare and the way that we practice and work together as a team," Kilby said.

Senior violinist Tiani Butts had the same realization.

"I mean, I never really think about how similar they are. It's like we're in a practice room all day, and they're in the courts all day and just working on their craft, and we're working on ours," Butts said.

For the first time, they took a step in the other's shoes.

"We were able to go to the McDuffie Center for Strings, and we got to see them perform, and we got to learn about their instruments," Kilby said.

That was the first of the three-event day. They ate lunch together and listened to guest speaker, two-time superbowl champion and former Alabama coach, Bill Curry.

They ended the day with the string students watching the basketball players practice.

"I think it's crucial for them to see how other elite athletes learn and think and interact with each other," Robert McDuffie, founder of the Center for Strings, said.

McDuffie organized the event with men's basketball Coach Bob Hoffman to bring the two worlds together.

"It was amazing to see how great they were, but how they work together at a high level, so I think that's what we're going to be able to use. We'll touch on it today, we'll be able to call on it all year about what it takes to be a championship team," Hoffman said.

To continue the support, the basketball players will be at the string students' Fabian concert on October 30th, and the string students will be at Mercer's opening game on November 9th.

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