The Student Government Association(SGA) worked alongside administration, Best Buddies Club, and the Special Education Program to organize a basketball tournament, centered around inclusion. The Best Ballers tournament was held in the main gym after school on Feb. 11 with no entry fee.
The main goals of the tournament were to raise money for the Best Buddies club, promote and encourage inclusion of special needs students and to have fun. Senior SGA member Arian Nyandjo said, “Being able to organize such an amazing event felt really good. All of the hard work that SGA put into planning it paid off.”
The tournament was arranged by allowing participants to pick between two brackets to compete in. The first bracket was a competitive bracket, where real scoring took place and teams had the opportunity to win prizes. The winners for the competitive bracket are senior Kobe Frimpong, juniors Gianfranco Vargas and Zuri Phillips.
The second bracket option was the fun bracket where “points” were not scored, instead the goal was to have fun. This bracket was more relaxed so there were no final winners. Every person who entered to play the brackets had to sign up to play through a google form and pay $5 that went straight to Best Buddies. “Part of our goal was to have something in the school that anyone could be part of,” SGA sponsor Fevronia Creshman said.
Along with basketball for all levels of athletic ability, SGA also provided all types of games and even sold concessions for those who were not interested in playing basketball but still wanted to participate and support those who did. The inclusivity that the event brought was encouraging. “I have gotten lots of emails from parents talking about how great it was for their children. It made everybody feel really really good and was a great event,” Cresham said.
The SGA is hopeful that this will continue on as an annual tournament. “Since there is no winter pep rally, this was the best spirit event to organize because of the unity it promoted throughout the school,” senior SGA member Mia Waller said,
Previously when Cresham was the sponsor for the senior class of 2013, they organized a similar event and called it March Madness. March Madness was part of the inspiration for planning the Best Ballers tournament because of its impact. “When I sponsored the class of 2013 for March Madness it was a really huge deal and it inspired a lot of people. The SGA worked really hard this year to bring it back because that kind of spirit is really important to bring back to Wootton,” Cresham said.