MSJC Athletes Volunteer in Basketball Event for Special Ed Students

December 11, 2014

The 4th annual Basketball Showdown was held at San Jacinto High School

The Eagles dunked, dribbled and jumped to help the Tigers and the Huskies learn new moves during the 4th annual Basketball Showdown on Thursday, Dec. 11, 2014 at San Jacinto High School.

The event is designed bridge the relationship between special and general education students with athletics, said Cathy Begorre, an adaptive physical education teacher at San Jacinto High. It drew volunteers from Mt. San Jacinto College’s Eagles men’s and women’s basketball teams. Participants, including cheerleaders and students from the Together We Can Club, came from San Jacinto High, whose mascot is the Tiger, and North Mountain Middle School, home of the Huskies.

Hemet resident Lynné Henson watched her grandson Jedi, who has autism, participate in the Showdown. She said the event helps build the 12-year-old’s confidence and coordination.

“It makes him feel wonderful,” she said. “It makes him feel like he can do anything.”

San Jacinto High School Principal Jordan Reeves said it’s important to help the general and special education students form bonds through activities like the Showdown. Looking around the high school gymnasium, he talked about having the college, high school and middle school all working together.

“It’s a real community event. It’s just incredible,” Reeves said.

MSJC basketball player Blake O`Donnell said he participated in the event because he wanted to give back to the community. DeShea Wilkes, a basketball player on the women’s team, said she understood the benefits of helping the special education students because she has an uncle who participates in Special Olympics.

“Any way we can help, we’re more than happy to do it,” Wilkes said. 

MSJC Eagles men’s and women’s basketball players, far left, volunteered at the 4th annual Basketball Showdown at San Jacinto High School (Dec. 11, 2014).

Mt. San Jacinto College students have volunteered in the Showdown each year. This year’s student volunteers were:

Men’s Basketball
Coach John Brown
Blake O’Donnell
Austin Klug
Samuel Williams

Women’s Basketball
Coach Fontay Mozga
Kenyetta Fugate
Suzie Castro-Larsen
DeShea Wilkes
Christina Grant