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During a month filled with plenty of basketball, the North Oldham girls’ basketball team found time to take a step away from the game recently, donating their time and energy to bring the Christmas spirit to Crum’s Lane Elementary in Louisville.
Though the team has participated in similar community service events in years past, including adopting a family last season, coach Dan Pfaff said they were looking for a more personal approach this year.
“(Last year) was a very good experience and the girls had a whole lot of fun shopping for them, but we never really had a touch point with the family itself,” Pfaff said. “When my assistant coach Penny (Coleman) and I were talking, we said it would really be nice if we could do something where we could really be involved with a situation very similar but maybe not exactly the same.”
They found the perfect event during a chance conversation between Coleman and Anna Byrd, principal of Crum’s Lane Elementary. While talking at church, the conversation turned to the team’s plans for the Christmas break. Byrd had an idea.
“She said, ‘Well, we have this Donuts with Santa situation and it’d be kind of cool if we had some older girls that these kids could look up to’,” Pfaff said.
So the team bought key chains, bracelets and ornaments and spent nearly two hours helping students make crafts.
“It was a great experience,” Pfaff said. “It took a little bit of time for the kids to (warm up), but once they did, they were all over the place.”
More than just a few hours spent at an elementary school though, Pfaff is hoping that kind of community-service mind set takes root.
One day when the ball stops bouncing, those lessons will be much more important than anything they learned about basketball, he said.
“Basketball is important and winning and losing is important but there’s only going to be one team that wins the state tournament,” he said. “If that’s the only goal for playing in athletics, then there is something missing. I’d be more proud of them for learning from a situation then a ring to put on my finger or an undefeated season. It has to be about something more.”
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