Men’s basketball reaches out to community with fundraiser

by Tim LoneStaff Writer

The Simpson men’s basketball team played a fundraiser game against Ruby Van Meter High School on March 7 at Roosevelt High School to help raise money for the Ruby Van Meter Parent Teacher Organization.

Bruce Wilson, head men’s basketball coach, said the game was set up mainly by him and his wife, who is involved with the PTO at Ruby Van Meter. He added that this was the first time the team has done a fundraiser game.

“The fundraiser is for the Ruby Van Meter PTO,” Wilson said. “Since my son goes to Ruby Van Meter and my wife is in the PTO, we got it set up. This is our first time doing this.”

The men played the junior varsity team and the girls’ team, each for 10 minutes, and played two 10-minute halves against the varsity team.

Several players volunteered to be a part of the event. One of the players that volunteered to play in the fundraiser was sophomore forward Nick Neef. Neef said he found out about the fundraiser three weeks before the game took place. He had never played in a game like the one versus Ruby Van Meter. Before the game, Neef said he felt as though it would be a good experience for all who were involved.

“I’ve never participated in a fundraiser game like this before,” Neef said. “I feel that it will be a good experience for some of our guys along with Ruby Van Meter. There should be a very good crowd. It will be an exciting game to watch and hopefully be very beneficial to the school.”

Neef said one of the things he was excited about was working with the players from Ruby Van Meter.

“I am looking forward to working with the kids,” Neef said. “It’s always fun to watch them enjoy what they are doing.”

Tyler Erwin, assistant men’s basketball coach and athletic academic liaison, said the game was a good opportunity for the players to get involved and show others in the community what the team is about.

“This is a great opportunity for our guys to get involved in the community and help raise money for Ruby Van Meter,” Erwin said. “Our basketball program is more than what we do on the court or in practices.”

Erwin added that the fundraiser is a good opportunity for the players to focus their talents toward the greater good.

“Playing college basketball is an opportunity,” Erwin said. “Not everyone gets that opportunity, so we make sure our players understand how they can use basketball as a way to give back. The fundraiser gives our guys a chance to give back to the community, Ruby Van Meter School, but most importantly for a good cause.”

Neef echoed Erwin’s comments, saying that the game is a great way to help raise money for the school while playing a game that you love at the same time.

“I think the game will be very enjoyable,” Neef said. “It is a great way to give back to the community while doing something you enjoy at the same time. The kids are looking forward to this game and are very excited.”