Scarborough High School’s varsity men’s basketball team has plenty of cause for elation, as they are headed to the state playoffs next week – but there has also been a pressing issue at hand for them, and the local neighborhood responded to it in force last week.
The Spartans are in need of replacement basketball shoes for the entire team — as the current ones are almost falling apart — but the school’s budget currently does not allow for such a purchase. So Head Coach Julius Jackson and his staff subsequently turned to the community, with a goal of $1,900 in donations to purchase new shoes for the team by the day of their first playoff game Feb. 19. A post in a local neighborhood group last weekend spawned initial support that has only grown, with members donating various amounts totaling just over $1,400 as of press time.
Jackson said he and his staff have been overwhelmed by the outpouring of support the Spartans received from the community
“It means so much to us; and this is part of what we’re trying to do – bridge the relationships between the community and Scarborough since we sit directly in the center of the community,” Jackson said. “It means a lot, not just to me but the kids as well.”
“This post is making my heart explode. Thank you all so much!” exclaimed Jessi Heiner, who was recently hired at the school.
Support adds to special season
Scarborough boasts six seniors who played their final true home game wearing the Spartan orange Feb. 10. Thus far, the Spartans sit at 13-10 overall and 9-3 in District 24-4A action, and are headed to the playoffs for the second time in four seasons. But the meaning of this season, Jackson said, goes beyond wins and losses on the court; he said the value of determination and toughness given what has transpired both on and off the court has shined through tenfold.
“It shows the resilience of these kids, just to go through not only Harvey, but the weather dates we’ve had to miss and everything else – it’s been a true blessing,” he said. “We try to use basketball as a vehicle for real life. Just as in life, things will come and go, and things will happen. It’s not about what happens, it’s about how you react to what happens.”
Jackson also wants his seniors – all six of whom will continue their education at the college level – to have a way of remembering their time in the community, and believes the shoes can do just that.
“We would love for the guys to keep them. I think it would be a great parting gift,” he wrote.
Jackson and his staff are open to any level of donation. Anyone still wishing to give can do so by going to Jackson’s Paypal account (firstname.lastname@example.org) or contacting Jackson personally.
“Done. Such an easy way to make a big difference for these kids,” resident Tonia Whitney said.