By Cesar Avila
The crowd waited eagerly as the two teams were introduced. The room was filled with echoes of instruments playing the Lincoln High fight song. The crowd was split in half as if the Red Sea had been parted again. This was the showdown everybody had been waiting for all week. The Black Team vs. The Red Team at Hoops for Hope.
The game started quickly with the Black Team pulling away to an early lead that almost seemed to crush their opponents’ spirits, but the Red Team wouldn’t let up. They came back firing with Mr. Holbein ripping down rebounds while going at referees throats on “bad calls.”
“The reason I was being so hard on the officials is I’m an official myself. I’m a high school, and college basketball official, and I know what it takes to officiate at any level. When Keshawn (Wilson) doesn’t make it past half court and tries to call a foul I get a little upset.
“That would never happen while I’m officiating a basketball game,” Holbein said grinning. By halftime the Black team still led the Red team. That’s how it was most of the game. Towards the end of the game the Red team started to creep up on the lead that the Black team had built. The Red team’s starters stood on the court, down by two with only a minute left in the game. But there was simply just not enough time. The Red team made an effort to win the game by intentionally fouling, but the free throw shooters managed to seal up the win for the black team with a win by four points.
After the game I caught up with Math teacher Shannon Wiig, who said, “I was really excited to participate. I wasn’t initially asked to play, so once I found out about it I contacted Andy Ngo (Student Council President).”
Wiig wasn’t the only excited to participate. Associate Principal Mark Larson was equally happy to be able to participate in student-organized fundraiser. “I appreciate the opportunity to play and be able to give back and be apart of that. More than anything, I just thought it was cool that anytime students are able to take the lead on something like this to where they are the ones organizing and putting something like this together to give back, it’s really cool.”
Larson had some experience, because he had played on basketball teams in high school.
Giving back is something that Lincoln High does often, Hoops for Hope is just one of the many examples. Hoops for Hope was an overall success and not only was it a great experience for everyone involved, it was fun for students to watch their favorite teachers and staff battle each other in a basketball game.
Special Education Teacher Steve Ward said, “Well it’s a lot of fun and I think the best thing is that it’s part of Lincoln High coming together as community. Teachers and students and other staff members that play and do different things and they all come together to do something and it’s a benefit to the community.”