Photo gallery: Student-athlete Christmas party

The annual Vanderbilt Student-Athlete Children Christmas Party was held Friday morning in the Hendrix Room at McGugin Center. Thirty-nine first graders from AmQui Elementary School were the guests of honor. Here's a gallery of photos from the event.

While the children were anticipating the arrival of Santa Claus, defensive lineman Robert Dinwiddie warmed up the crowd. Although he is planning to go study Law, several of the teachers present thought that he should go into Education instead because of his natural rapport with the children.

The women's basketball team didn't get back from Memphis until 1 a.m. Friday morning, but that didn't stop them from joining the party. They sang some Christmas carols, including "Here Comes Santa Claus"... and sure enough, Santa Claus was indeed coming.

Santa Claus, also known sometimes as Vanderbilt offensive lineman Blake Luker, was responsible for handing out the presents.

The children's presents were purchased by the Vanderbilt student athletes with their own money. Each team was given responsibility for buying and wrapping presents for specific children.

Heptathlete and Verizon All-American Josie Hahn was chief elf for the day.

After the presents were unwrapped, sometimes the children were kind enough to let the student athletes play with the toy. Here, Cherish Stringfield, freshman guard for the women's basketball team, renews her acquaintance with Barbie.

Robert Dinwiddie poses with basketball sophomores Erica Grimaldi and Nicole Jules, and their honored guest.

Senior forward Scott Hundley of the men's basketball team puts a toy stunt car through its paces.

Corey Smith and Martin Schnedlitz of the men's basketball team performed an emergency repair on a basketball net following a monster dunk by one of the children.

Finally, there was pizza for everybody, and the party came to an end.

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Photos by Whitney D for

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