Fun. Excitement. Inspiration. The Badger Ballers bring it all, as the Snow College men’s and women’s basketball teams will combine this November with special needs students and residents from all over Sanpete County to put on a truly special exhibition basketball game to show support for the special needs community around Snow College.
The 2nd Annual Badger Ballers Special Needs Exhibition Game is coming up, and there’s plenty of excitement. Sophomores at Snow College may remember the inaugural game that was played last year. Even the organizers were surprised by the level of success it attained. Jaden Anderson, sophomore center for the women’s basketball team, shared fond memories of the game, saying, “It was so fun to teach them and help them learn what we do every day. It was fun to play in the game after. Overall, it was just a really fun experience. [The kids] loved it. It made them happy when they got to play, and we got to be the ones that cheer.”
Coach Ron Nielson of the men’s basketball team said, “It was a great success for our kids, for the students, and for the community. Everything came together, and it was a beautiful night, and we had a fun time.”
Snow College does its best to make this game as authentic of an experience as possible for the kids involved by bringing spectators, cheerleaders, drill team, and keeping score.
Ambassador Emily Cottrell, organizer for this year’s game, is excited to have the opportunity to contribute to the special needs community. “I think it will really have a connection with Snow College,” she says, “how they can actually get to know Snow College, how it can help out with recruitment, and be a benefit to the community overall.” Emily continues, “Snow is trying to become more diverse, and I think having the special needs feel more involved is something that we can use. There are certain students [who] even want to go into helping out with special needs, so that will be good for [the kids] to have friends on campus here.”
Children with special needs around Ephraim have loved the opportunity to participate, as Snow College bookstore manager and mother, Jeana Cheney, could attest. Jeana is a mother of 3 children with special needs. Her son, Samuel, participated in last year’s exhibition game. Speaking of the experience, she said she had tears in her eyes almost the entire game, which had “so much energy, you could reach out and touch it…” she says. She went on to say, “[Sam] told me that that game ‘made’ his life. He’s always wanted to play basketball, but he doesn’t typically do well in team sports with kids of his own age because of his disabilities. For that moment, it was fulfilling a dream for him.”
The 2nd Annual Badger Ballers Special Needs Exhibition Game will be played on November 3rd at 7:15pm and admission is free. Those who wish to participate can sign in at 7pm.