‘Mental Health Matters’: Ethan students host JV all-star game to benefit local mental health charity

0
499
‘Mental Health Matters’: Ethan students host JV all-star game to benefit local mental health charity


ETHAN – What started as a shared goal between high school classmates to shine a light on who they saw as the ‘undervalued’ basketball players in South Dakota turned into something much bigger than they intended.

Brody Riggs and Wyatt Sinkie, juniors and teammates on the Ethan Rustlers junior varsity team, had seen enough of the top varsity players in the spotlight. With all the talented players playing junior varsity basketball throughout the state, they brainstormed ways of honoring the best-of-the-best at the JV level.

“What about the players that make (the top players) who they are?” Riggs said. “You always have the all-star games with the big names, but what about the guys that are up and coming?”

Wyatt Sinkie (left) and Brody Riggs (right) explain the next event at the Mental Health Matters Up-and-Coming All-Star Game on Saturday, April 2 at Ethan High School.

Dylan Jespersen/Mitchell Republic

That idea sparked a process that resulted in Saturday’s first-ever Mental Health Matters, Up and Coming All-Star Game at Ethan High School on Saturday, April 2, an event that raised $1600 to benefit mental health services in the local area while giving a stage for the best boys JV basketball players in S.D.

Using nominations from area high school coaches and players, the boys put together two rosters of JV players from Ethan, White River, Wagner, Winner and Viborg-Hurley to compete in a 3-point competition, a skills competition and the all-star game.

Entry for spectators cost four dollars, with all proceeds planned to be donated to a local mental health charity to be decided.

“Mental health is something we prioritize, so we figured we could make that game have a bigger meaning that way,” Riggs said.

Riggs and Sinkie admitted that their original idea was nowhere near as large as what came to be on Saturday. What they originally saw was a small event with some area JV players messing around for a couple of hours in an empty gym.

However, after the two won gold for their Mental Health Matters project at the regional FCCLA meeting, they approached their teacher Katrina Hoster with their hopes to tie the event to a mental health charity, and the ball got rolling.

ETHANupandcomingallstar3
The crowd erupts after a 4-point shot went down during the Mental Health Matters Up-and-Coming All-Star Game on Saturday, April 2 at Ethan High School.

Dylan Jespersen/Mitchell Republic

“We cannot thank her enough for what she did to make this happen,” Hinkie said.

With Mrs. Hoster’s backing, the boys were able to start making the event into a reality. And with local businesses Sun Gold Sports helping design ‘Mental Health Matters’ shirts, Hibbett’s Sports agreeing to sponsor the event and the National Guard providing the team jerseys and free concessions, the Up and Coming All-Star Game truly became real.

_MG_0407.JPG
The back of the t-shirt jersey provided by the National Guard for the Mental Health Matters Up-and-Coming All-Star Game on Saturday, April 2 at Ethan High School.

Dylan Jespersen/Mitchell Republic

Riggs and Hinkie said once things were in motion, the outpouring of support from the surrounding communities amazed them.

“It’s not like we did this all ourselves, it was a whole entire community effort,” Riggs said. “It was kind of amazing to me that we all came together for what really matters, and that is mental health.”

While both were proud of the results, both wanted to make sure that the focus of the event stayed on mental health awareness.

“This is a Mental Health Up and Coming All-Star game, that part matters,” Hinkie said.

The 3-point competition led off, with three separate one-on-one shoot-offs deciding the three participants that would advance to the final round.

White River’s Ramsey Tucker paced the group, scoring eight points in the opening round before clinching the victory with four points in the final round.

_MG_0278.JPG
The winner of the 3-point contest, Ramsey Tucker (center), poses with his trophy at the Mental Health Matters Up-and-Coming All-Star Game on Saturday, April 2 at Ethan High School.

Dylan Jespersen/Mitchell Republic

In the skills competition, players raced as they dribbled in between cones and attempted a layup before securing the rebound, racing up the floor and attempting to make a 3-point shot before their competitor. After three rounds, Wagner’s Preston McFayden drilled the final shot and won the competition.

_MG_0381.JPG
Skills competition winner Preston McFayden poses with Hinkie and Riggs at the Mental Health Matters Up-and-Coming All-Star Game on Saturday, April 2 at Ethan High School.

Dylan Jespersen/Mitchell Republic

The final event, the all-star game, provided a few twists. An additional line made of tape gave the game a ‘4-point line’, and players were unafraid to let it fly to try to get the 4-pointer to go.

‘The Dark Team’ was victorious in the end, with McFayden being named the game’s most valuable player for his stellar performance.

The result of the game, however, wasn’t as important as the overall goal. The event raised a lot of money for mental health purposes, and Riggs and Hinkie were most proud of that.





Source link

LEAVE A REPLY

Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here