After being sidelined the last two years due to the ongoing pandemic, Hoops for Hunger made a triumphant return on Saturday afternoon at Riverview Collegiate.
The Moose Jaw Thunder basketball marathon saw players from the local club playing a series of exhibition games and taking part in a bunch of fun stuff throughout the day, all with the goal of making as much money as possible for Hunger in Moose Jaw.
In the end, the event managed to bring in $2,200 for the local charity, bringing the total raised by Hoops for Hunger since it started to well over $8,000.
“It was great,” said Thunder coach Curt Lorge. “The kids toughed it out, they were pretty pooped by 9:30 last night, but it worked out really great. I know Sharla from Hunger in Moose Jaw is thrilled with us bringing her some cash (Monday) and it couldn’t have gone better.”
Things kicked off in the morning with a U17 exhibition game between the Thunder and visiting Medicine Hat Rangers club team, with the U15 Thunder playing the Rangers immediately after.
Lorge felt the contests were a good measuring stick for his crew, and also offered a chance for some of the team’s current players to try out the coaching side of things.
“We made it a day where it was a leadership thing, where the older girls kind of ran the show, and they did such a great job,” Lorge said. “They were marvellous with the younger girls and they really stepped up. Even the one game against Medicine Hat, it was a couple of our older girls coaching and they did great, the team responded to them well and it was pretty cool to see.”
The Thunder were also able to pick up some tips and tricks from the Rangers throughout the day, information Lorge hopes to put to use as the local club continues to grow and mature.
“The Rangers were pretty happy, they came in and were a lot of fun,” Lorge said. “You can see they put the work in and it’s where we’re kind of aiming to get our kids too. It’s a pretty strong program, and it gives us something to aim for.”
Then it was time for two of the most popular events of the day -- first, the Alumni game, which featured former Thunder players taking the court against the current crop of youngsters, and finally, the Parents vs. Kids Game, which is always quite the show.
“The [Alumni] game was a lot of fun, we had about 10 of our former players drop in and they played against the club and it was pretty entertaining, they had a lot of fun out there,” Lorge said.
As for the Parents game…
“Oh, there will be some parents walking a little slower today, I imagine,” Lorge said with a laugh. “Nobody got hurt, but they weren’t moving quite as well by the end. At the start when they had a little more legs they were putting a bit of a beating on the girls but they slowly wore them down a bit… the parents still won, though, they’re still undefeated!”
All in all, a fun and entertaining day of basketball, and a welcome return to the court.
“It went as well as we could have hoped, we were able to make quite a bit of money for Hunger in Moose Jaw, so we’re really happy with how it turned out,” Lorge said.
For plenty more on the club, including a host of photos from Saturday’s event, check out the Moose Jaw Thunder Facebook page.