On Tuesday, Jan. 7, the Gilead Christian School varsity basketball teams were able to enjoy a unique opportunity. Both the girls and boys teams got to participate in a basketball game against KIPP Academy on the floor of the Cleveland Cavaliers.
Upon arrival, they were greeted by Scott MacDonald, the senior manager of youth sports development. After an inspiring pep talk, they were ushered into the locker rooms to prepare and change for the game. Before they knew it, the players were on the floor.
The girls team warmed up and played first. Nerves were tight, and tensions were high, as the awestruck girls began to realize the actuality of what was happening. Before the tip-off, Ella Beacom and Emylee Nash sang the national anthem.
As the familiar notes echoed through the stadium, the players seemed to relax, and a calm settled over the team. It was time to play.
After 32 minutes of hard play against an excellent opponent, the results were in. Unfortunately, the GCS girls’ varsity team had been unable to pull out a win against KIPP Academy. Saddened but not defeated, the girls switched gears to cheer on the boys’ team, who played immediately after them.
The boys put up a great fight, and everyone had a chance to play in this special game.
Although the game ultimately ended in a loss, Kirby Roles, an eighth-grader on the team, said, “Even though we played a tough team, we had fun as a team, and we lost as a team. Though we lost, we still had an experience of a lifetime.”
The boys and girls teams were grateful for this unique opportunity, and wish KIPP academy a great rest of the season.
Corey Gamble, head coach of both teams, said, “Although the results of the games were not what we wanted, this experience is one the players and I will remember forever.”