To help kick off the 2022-23 basketball season, the Richmond Hill Wildcats and Lady Cats came together for a successful community night at the Richmond Hill High School gymnasium.
“This is a great opportunity for the community to come out and support us, and for us to give back to them as well,” head boys’ basketball coach Bill Henderson said. “I think that it was important for our players to know and understand the impact that they have on the younger kids coming up. Those guys look up to them, so it is important for them to know that, as well as important for those kids to meet the kids they watch and look up to in games.”
The proof is in the pudding–as all kids, both young and old, enjoyed being amongst each other for the event. There was something for everyone to enjoy, as the younger kids were able to play basketball with their favorite athletes, take pictures in the photo area, color in the coloring station and enjoy snacks that were on hand, as well as having the cheerleaders greet everyone at the gym door.
The players and the kids were not the only ones having fun, as the girls’ head basketball coach, Sarah Jones, could be seen playing a pickup game with a parent and two of the players on her team.
“I think that it is super important to bring everyone together,” Jones said. “This is our first time doing it and we hoped to have a good crowd and we have so far. We also want the community to come to the games and support us then as well, so that this thing grows in the future. I think that more community involvement is a great thing.”
Throughout the gym, you could see the smiles on the faces of everyone that came out. Several athletes were teaching the younger kids how to shoot. Some were picking them up to help them take shots. Some players were playing two on two pickup games, and everyone seemed to enjoy the first community support for the basketball teams.
“I feel like this is great for everyone involved,” Henderson said. “It is great for us to serve the community, and to spend time with these kids and getting to know them, while they get to know us.”
The Wildcats and Lady Cats begin their season next Tuesday, November 7, with a scrimmage at South Effingham. Tip off is set at 6pm.