Millikin’s Women’s Basketball Team takes part in Macon Resources, Inc.’s Annual Field Day

The team led a scrimmage game during the annual celebration for MRI’s residents.

MRI Field Day

DECATUR, Ill. – Millikin University’s Women’s Basketball Team got the chance to return to the basketball court on May 12, hosting a scrimmage game at Macon Resources Inc.’s Annual Field Day. 

Decatur’s Macon Resources, Inc. (MRI) has been serving individuals with developmental disabilities since 1957, and the Field Day events give the residents a chance to spend some time outside and enjoy a picnic lunch, ice cream, a scrimmage game with the members of the Big Blue’s Women’s Basketball Team and a community kickball game. 

“We use our Field Day to increase the communication and education in Decatur,” MRI Executive Director Amy Bliefnick said. “People sometimes don’t understand who we are and who we serve. We like getting people to come out, play kickball, have fun, and be a kid again. 

MRI Field Day
Millikin's Bailey Coffman (left) celebrates a basket made by an MRI resident. 

Big Blue players, including CCIW Player of the Year and Jostens Trophy Winner Elyce Knudsen and CCIW All-Conference First Team selection Bailey Coffman, led an informal scrimmage between players and MRI residents. Cheers rang out after every bucket as the participants went up and down the court. 

“It turned out perfectly today. It is great to come back every year and play on their court with them and share a little bit of what we love with them,” Bailey said. “Getting to see the same faces and hang out with them. We know their names, and they know ours. It’s a great cause to come out and have this Field Day.”

The team is active in its service to the community, playing at MRI two or three times a year. Coffman, who graduated with a Business Management degree during this spring’s Commencement Ceremony, has enjoyed building relationships with MRI’s residents. 

MRI Field Day
The Big Blue Women's Basketball Team holds events with MRI two to three times a year. 

“MRI is a great place to come and do things like this. It keeps us involved in the community and gets people to come to our games too,” Bailey said. “Some of these people also show up to all of our home games and it’s just nice to have that interaction with them and see both sides of it.”

Coffman battled injury last season but was still able to average 12.1 points and 3.6 rebounds per game as the team returned to the NCAA DIII Tournament for the second consecutive season. Although she recently completed her bachelor’s degree, Coffman has decided to return next season for one final season of eligibility as she pursues her graduate studies at Millikin.

“For a while, I didn’t know what I was going to do. I had some different grad options that I was looking at, but ultimately staying at Millikin and playing another year was what I wanted to do,” Bailey said. “The thought of having another chance to hit our goal is huge. I think it will feel really special for that last year.”

MRI Field Day
MRI Executive Director Amy Bliefnick (middle) takes part in the organization's Field Day events. 

Big Blue Head Coach Olivia Lett serves on MRI’s Board of Directors, further strengthening the bond between the organizations. 

“Olivia is a great lady and our people love Millikin. They love the relationship with it and some of our people love to go to their games and follow them throughout the year,” Amy said. “We are so blessed to have the Millikin Women’s Basketball team come out to MRI. Our people look forward to it and I think the athletes look forward to it too. To be able to come and work with the people that we serve, it gives both of us a better understanding and it builds awareness.”