By Alicia Dziak

If layups, jump shots, three pointers and non-stop action on the court isn’t enough to get you excited about basketball, how about attending a game for a good cause? That’s right—SGI girls’ basketball fans are invited to the first ever Hoops and Toy Drive on Saturday, Dec. 2, when the JV and Varsity Lady Griffs take on Mount Mercy.

“This is the first time we have ever run this specific type of event,” said girls’ Varsity basketball coach Bob Gainey.  “We have been teaming up with Mt. Mercy for the past four years and have done many games to benefit our local Veterans. So, we thought with the holidays right around the corner that we would try something a little bit different.”

The idea came from Tammy Stedman, whose daughter is on the Varsity team and who is very active with fundraising and supporting the players.  “She brought up the fact it would be nice to give back to a different organization during the holiday season,” Gainey explained.

He also noted that prior to coaching in Springville, he coached Varsity at Mt. Mercy, and that their coach is a good friend of his.  “We always make it a point to play one another on a yearly basis,” Gainey said.

The event combines b-ball with a toy drive and other fun activities, including ornament crafts, halftime shootouts, a bake sale with items made by SGI families and some TBD entertainment by SYI.

“I think any time you can get players to come together and work toward helping a specific cause that it impacts them greatly in a number of ways,” Gainey said. “It gives them a greater purpose outside of basketball, brings them closer together as a team, raises individual awareness to help support an organization that helps children, and it gives the players a sense of achievement knowing they are helping others in need.”

Tip off on Dec. 2 is noon for JV and 1:30 p.m. for Varsity. Both games will be held at the high school gym, and admission is a new, unwrapped toy or a cash donation for Toys for Tots.