Girls basketball bonds over community service work

by Paige McCoy, Staff Reporter

The girls varsity and sophomore basketball teams plan to participate in five community service events during their season to promote team bonding and giving back to the community.

“It helps us bond because we get a chance to see each other when we are not in basketball,” Hailey Dammeier, sophomore, said. “We get to talk about stuff and get away from sports. This helps us to communicate better, get to know each other and better predict people’s actions on the court.”

On Thursday, Oct. 25, the girls helped with Hoops for Africa, sponsored by Interact with Africa, which consisted of a students versus teachers basketball game. The event raised over $1,300, which will go toward giving children in Africa school supplies.

“That was just a fun game where we did what we wanted. When the season comes, we will be 100 percent in the game, going hard the entire time,” Kaitlyn Debusk, senior, said.

In December, the girls will visit Addolorata Village, a retirement home, and sing Christmas carols to the residents.

“I think it’s very important that all of us understand we need to extend ourselves to the community to make it a better place. We need to realize there is a larger world out there than just us,” Lou Wool, sophomore basketball coach, said.

The entire girls team will also participate in a basketball game and pizza outing that will take place in January at WHS with a Special Olympics team of children from the area.

“Last year, my favorite service event was with Special Olympics. I think it’s really good to give back to the community and help others in need,” Deanna Kuzmanic, sophomore, said.

The fourth event will take place during winter break. The girls are going to volunteer at St. James PADS, a homeless shelter in Arlington Heights, for a morning. Last year, when the girls participated in this event, only the sophomore team went. This year, both the varsity and the sophomore teams will participate in volunteering at the shelter.

At the shelter, the girls will collect clothes, food and help clean the building.

“These are things we strive to do every year,” Julissa Hernandez, varsity basketball coach, said.

In the middle of their season, the team will read to elementary school students from Tarkington Elementary School.

“I definitely think it brings the team together. Not only are they playing basketball together, but they are also hanging out together outside of basketball,” Hernandez said.

The girls basketball team will play their second game tonight vs. Fenwick at 7:30 p.m. at home.