What the Moose Jaw Thunder Basketball Club youngsters did have over their more seasoned adversaries during their Players vs. Parents game was numbers, though, something they put to good use in the later stages of Saturday night’s contest at Riverview Collegiate.
It was all in good fun, of course, and an entertaining diversion as the second annual Hoops for Hunger marathon wound through the early evening of a long day.
“You can’t teach height, and it’s amazing the lack of mercy you see the parents have for their kids on the floor,” laughed Thunder coach Curt Lorge, who put his own towering presence under the basket to good use during the game. “That game is just the best, the kids enjoy themselves, the parents have a great time and it’s all part of a really fun day.”
The action kicked off at 10 a.m. with Players vs. Alumni and Players vs. Coaches games and continued with a variety of basketball contests and competitions until things wrapped up around 9:15 p.m.
“Oh my goodness, it was amazing,” Lorge said of the day’s activities. “The alumni game was a hoot, the older girls who came back were moaning a little bit that they weren’t in great shape. But they had a really good time and it was the start of a good turnout. And the young girls who played them were like ‘these guys are so good’ and we were ‘well, these girls were you guys five to 10 years ago’. It was really cool.”
Things came to a conclusion with a club-wide intrasquad game, which as one might expect didn’t feature the highest energy.
“The girls were getting pretty tired by them but they still sucked it up and had a fun game, then we wrapped it up, did our money count and did a big clean-up on the gym,” Lorge said. “It was a long, long day.”
That final count? No less than $3,040, all raised through good old-fashioned hard fundraising.
“It’s pretty incredible that these young ladies went out and did all that work,” Lorge said with a tone of amazement. “This wasn’t corporate donations and businesses chucking hundreds of dollars at us, this was these girls going out door-to-door or selling at a bake sale or sitting at Superstore and collecting 50 cents here, a dollar there. It’s incredible that they raised that kind of money with the effort they put in.”
That Hoops for Hunger was such a success wasn’t lost on the club, either, as the players themselves were surprised with how much they were able to bring in.
“It’s amazing, the memories will stick with the girls for a long time and the knowledge of the good that they’ve done,” Lorge said. “They’re already asking me ‘hey, what else can we do to do more fundraising stuff’.
“So we’re indebted to Riverview for letting us host there, and there’s a million people that made it happen, but it’s all about the girls and all the hard work they put in to make this what it was.”