Giving thanks and giving back
The Holiday Hoopsgiving at Holy Innocents’ features 39 basketball games in three gyms as a part of Play for Orange. This year, a portion of the tournament’s proceeds will go to a low-income family of a child suffering from leukemia.
“Play for Orange was started to give HS athletes a platform to give back to children who may not have the same opportunity they have due to being diagnosed with a condition such as leukemia, with the color orange being for childhood leukemia,” said tournament director Christopher Williams.
Follow the tournament on twitter at @HHoopsgiving.
What they’re thankful for
We caught up with a handful of players at the Craig Sager Memorial Tournament and asked them to talk about things for which they are thankful.
TORY OZMENT, BUFORD
“Definitely my teammates. I love them. They’re like my sisters on and off the court. Especially our coaching staff. Just the basketball program as a whole. It’s so much bigger than basketball here and that’s what makes it so special.”
“Off the court, my family. They always support me in anything I do. I’m really lucky to have them, so definitely my teammates and my family.”
JACK BRUNSWICK, HARRISON
“I’m just thankful to be healthy and able to play basketball with my close friends my senior year. I’m thankful for my family and all my friends.”
“I’d say cross country. It changed a lot of my habits, like I eat healthy, it just kept me healthy as a person and I developed lots of good friends through that.”
“I’d say my psychology teacher, Mr. Shelton. Just the way he taught me, he taught me life lessons and stuff. He’s been a real mentor to me.”
SHAYNE BUCKINGHAM, DACULA
“I’m thankful for my friends and family, of course. Especially my parents, because they’ve always been there and provided for me, just showed me the best path I need to take in life.”
“I’m thankful for my teammates. They’ve always got your back. It’s just a brotherhood and that’s one thing I’m really thankful for.”
DAVID VITI, BUFORD
“I’m thankful for my family and my teammates. Being a shooter, I’m definitely thankful for my point guard, Alex Jones. He’s kind of the guy that gets me all the points. He’s been a big part of everything from AAU and everything, he got me the ball.”
“Definitely my family. They drive me everywhere. Since I was little, they’ve helped me get to where I am now. They’re really important to me. My dad taught me how to shoot. That’s kind of been a big help.”
KAILA HUBBARD, HOLY INNOCENTS’
“I’m thankful for my family. I’m thankful for my teammates, my friends. I’m just thankful to be able to play the sport of basketball, because it’s opened up a lot of doors for me.”
On Thanksgiving: “Food. Definitely good food. My family is from the country so that’s all they do is cook. They have all these different recipes, so it’s fun to come there and see what everybody brings. My mom cooks the turkey every year.”
KENNEDY SUTTLE, HOLY INNOCENTS’
“I’m thankful for my family, my friends, my athletic abilities, all the blessings I’ve gotten from God and my faith is important to me. This year specifically I’ve won homecoming queen, I’ve been able to travel to South Africa, just a lot of opportunities I’ve been able to have from going to this school.”
On Thanksgiving: “Honestly it’s seeing my family and friends I haven’t been able to see due to sports. I look forward to that, the prayer, the food, the smells. It’s a good time.”
Milestone win: Harrison boys coach Clay Crump collected his 200th career win Monday with a 55-51 win over Walnut Grove in the Craig Sager Memorial Tournament at Dacula. The Hoyas (2-1) earned a spot in the Paisley Bracket Final, where they fell 65-63 to South Gwinnett.