On March 3, the Jamesville-DeWitt High School staff faced off against Niko Tamurian and the CNY Central crew in J-DHS’s Main Gymnasium. The friendly game of basketball was all in the name of charity, and though the Red Rams staff dominated the court and won the game, the real winners of the night were the two charities who received all of the night's’ proceeds: The Shamrock Animal Fund and the Central New York Autism Society.
There were many activities that night to raise money for the causes, including a 3-point shot contest, a 50/50 raffle, and a half court shot contest. The proceeds of the basketball game were divided in half among the two charities, each of which were chosen by both of the teams.
CNY Central’s portion went to the Shamrock Animal Fund, a group which helps Syracuse and Central New York pet owners that have financial limitations pay for veterinary care for their animal companions.
J-DHS selected the CNY Autism Society, an organization which is dedicated to providing services and support for people with autism, in honor of Shawna Marzella, a beloved J-D booster-club leader and teaching assistant who passed away from a heart attack in December. CNY Autism Society is also working to educate families and communities about autism awareness in efforts to make the lives of those affected by it easier.
The game itself was very entertaining. Teachers traded their ties and lap tops for jerseys and play books while Niko Tamurian, who typically is reporting on the biggest sports news in the CNY area, was trying to make the highlight reel himself along with his news crew.
J-DHS students came out in big numbers to support the event. Senior Matt Cappelletti said the game was “definitely a success.” “It was a really good time. My friends and I all went out to watch our favorite teachers play a game of basketball, and it ended up being a good game,” says Cappelletti. Junior Buddy Boeheim said it was cool to watch his varsity basketball coaches, head coach Jeff Ike and assistant coach John Barlow, playing on the court; a role reversal of sorts. “Coach Ike and Barlow were putting in the the work. I could definitely give them some pointers, though,” said Boeheim with a laugh. Junior Luke Smith, who also was a player on this year’s J-DHS varsity basketball team, enjoyed the game as well. “It was a great atmosphere and I think everyone had a lot of fun,” says Smith. “All the teachers played really well...something like that should definitely happen again in the future,” says Smith.
Junior John Bridge agrees with Smith; “the charity basketball game was a really good idea (because) it brought the J-D school and community together for a great cause.”
Those looking for further information on the Shamrock Animal Fund and CNY Autism Society, or those interested in donating or volunteering opportunities, should visit their website links below.