The Rye Varsity Girls’ Basketball Team had a few extra players on the court on December 18 as they stood for the National Anthem in their game against Tappan Zee. But it was all legit. That’s because the team was joined by members of Rye’s Third Grade CYO basketball team for the opening of the game.
Not only did the little girls get to stand with the big girls for the national anthem, but they huddled with them and played a special half-time game with them as well.
“This was an incredible experience for the third-grade girls who are learning the game,” said CYO Coach Tom McLoughlin.
The courtside collaboration was the culmination of an effort that began a few weeks before when the Varsity Basketball team led a clinic for local girls that CYO team members attended. According to McLoughlin, that was a “tremendous success.” But he was really touched when Varsity Coach Margo Hackett asked when the little girls would play their next game – and then showed up to cheer them on.
“James Kennedy at Rye High School, who invited our team (and other teams) to come to Rye High games, along with Coach Hackett, really make a difference in this community, and this was so special for the girls,” McLoughlin said.
– Photos by Tom McLoughlin