Girls basketball team helping brighten Christmas for children

Aside from dedicating endless amounts of hours on the court, the Southmoreland high school girls basketball team dedicated more time off the court to make two little girls happy on Christmas.

On Dec. 7, after a long, hard practice, the girls basketball team headed to Walmart to purchase items to wrap up and give to two little girls on Christmas morning. They were shopping for two little girls in the school district, one is in 2nd grade and the other is 4 years old. The girls recently lost both of their parents and currently live with their grandparents.

We bought toys, clothes, and shoes. When we got there, Coach Pritts told us the sizes and what they want and then we all split into groups,” said senior Alayna Perbonish. “We got them eight pairs of shoes, four each. They both are getting a winter jacket and scarves and gloves, and then they are each getting seven outfits. We got them a ton of toys, too.”

The idea of this selfless act originated from the girl’s coach, Mr. Brian Pritts.

“Every year we, as teachers, support families in need at Christmas time,” said Mr. Pritts. “I thought it would be very nice for our team to do this together for a family.”

The team also used this experience as a way of team bonding and a learning experience.

“I wanted the girls to do this as a way of team bonding,” said Mr. Pritts. “I also wanted them to understand the importance of giving back and helping others who may not be as fortunate as we are.”

“It makes me feel whole inside,” said senior Brooke Corley. “Knowing that I was able to help them out makes me incredibly happy on the inside, especially knowing that they are going to wake up Christmas morning with a ton of gifts” because of the team.

“It makes me so happy and proud of our team,” said senior Carissa Cyphert. “Being part of a team is much more than just playing basketball on the court together.”

Mr. Pritts said he is “very proud” of his players for doing this and putting in so much “effort and care” into the shopping.

The team plans to wrap the gifts and drop them off in advance so that the girls can open them Christmas morning.

The team hopes to make this annual tradition.

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