By Eric Holler
Springville-Griffith Institute has a variety of electives offered for all high school students. One of the business electives offered is Sports Marketing. In the Sports Marketing class, there are students from 10th, 11th and 12th grades.
In order to give the students the best possible learning experience, the goal is to engage in hands-on activities as much as possible. After considering several options for activities, the class finally decided to do a celebrity vs staff basketball game. This became the Roundball Rumble for Roswell.
Roswell Park was selected as he beneficiary due to the great work they do in the Western New York community. The first challenge would be getting some celebrities out to Springville. After relentless pursuit via email and social media, the class was able to lineup enough celebrities to fill a team. Students also had to meet with local businesses for sponsorships and raffle prize donations. In class, students had to develop a program to recognize sponsors as well as the individuals for each team. A few students took on the role of social media coordinators and set up a Twitter account to help create awareness.
The celebrities who participated included:
• Tom Martin – WIVB Sports
• Jon Scott – Time Warner Cable Sports
• Joe Buscaglia – WKBW Sports
• Joe Licata – University at Buffalo All-Time Passer
• Jonah Javad – WGRZ Sports
• Nick Mendola – NBC Sports Soccer/Owner of FC Buffalo
• Brett Alan – WYRK 106.5 – SGI Grad
• Miguel Armando – WKSE 98.5 Kiss
• Rich Gaenzler – WGRF 97 Rock
• Mark Bouquin – Winner of American Grit – SGI Grad
The staff/alumni, which represented all four buildings in the district, was made up of the following:
• James Bialasik – SHS
• Bob Gainey – SES
• David Broom – CES
• Gretchen Heichberger – SMS
• Greg Miller – SMS
• Chris Scarpine – SES
• Billy Dickinson – Alum
• Olivia Emerling – Alum
After the first game was cancelled due to inclement weather, the rescheduled date was Wednesday, Jan. 11. When the player introductions began around 6:30, the gym was packed to capacity. At the start of the game, the staff/alumni team jumped out to a first quarter lead behind the play of alum Billy Dickinson. The celebs rallied in the second quarter to cut the lead at half to one point. Halftime brought the arrival of Joe Buscaglia and he lived up to the hype. He provided a boost to the celebrities and they took a lead and didn’t look back. The final score had the celebrities win 99-88.
Post-game awards were given out following the game. The Pheasant award, which was given to the individual with the most colorful on court personality, was won by Tom Martin. The game MVP went to Joe Licata.
The event raised over $2,000 and organizers would like to send a big thank you to the Superintendent and building principal for allowing them to get the game in.
Overall, the event was a great success and plans to make this an annual event are in the works.