Best Buddies take on first annual basketball game


Lisa Nhan, Managing Editor

For one night, some of the quietest students in the school became basketball stars in front of cheering fans and an enthusiastic drum line. Creek’s chapter of Best Buddies, an organization created towards creating inclusion and one-on-one friendships for those with intellectual and developmental disabilities, held its first fund raising basketball tournament.

“Most of these kids don’t get opportunities to be on sports teams because there just aren’t leagues or organizations in our area that accommodate what they need. I wanted to put this game on to give them that experience, and to see the looks on their faces when they scored baskets was priceless,” Sarah Creveling, president, said.

The tournament took place on November 20 at 7pm in Butler Gym. Originally the plan was to have the Springs Best Buddies chapter compete against the Creek chapter. However, due to some sponsor issues on Springs part, they were unable to make it.

The buddies who played were Bryan Nguyen, Alex Glad, Bryan Hughes, Rod Ford, Jess Eubanks, and Hugo Sagastizado. Due to the absent of another team last minute, Creek buddies and peer buddies were split into two teams, red and pink. Red was the winning team in the end, with three points over the pink’s final score. However, the goal of the game was to focus on creating a fun environment rather than a competitive one.

“The best part was how supportive both teams were one the opposing team was trying to make a basket. Everyone was very patient as all the buddies made their baskets,” Creveling said.

The goal was achieved when many buddies got to score in front of screaming fans.

“I really loved how Bryan Nguyen was so excited. After he made a basket and how he skipped up and down the court, I have never seen him so excited. It made all of the work we put into worth it just to see how much fun everyone was having,” Creveling said.

As Jessica Ransom watched her buddy, Rod Ford, play she saw the difference it made in his enthusiasm.

“I was incredibly excited watching him play. Rod was really good on defensive. He has a timid personality, and to see him get so aggressive on the court and see him do so well made me excited to be at the game to see what he could do,” Ransom said.

Creveling organized the tournament after she heard of the idea at the 2014 annual Best Buddies Leadership Conference, where future presidents are taught on how to improve their chapter.

“I thought it would be a new, unique event compared to our usual parties, as well as it being a cool fund raiser and a good way to raise awareness about the program. Planning it was stressful at first, like any big event you hold for the first time but it was more exciting than anything,” Creveling said.

All funds from the tickets and other merchandise were put towards continuing the program. The T-shirts were designed by Audree Hall, party planner. They were sold at 10 dollars. Students could also buy a raffle ticket to win Best Buddies merchandise such as sunglasses or other T-shirt designs.

“This was the most unique fund raiser we’ve done in my past three years of the club. It was really great being able to take part in something that not only helped us raise money we needed, but at the end of the day continued Best Buddies’ goal of friendship and inclusion for anyone and everyone,” Christina Morrison, sectary of the chapter, said.