CHARLOTTESVILLE, Va. (CBS19 Sports) — You don’t need to be a defending national champion to love the game of basketball.
“You really don’t have to have anything other than a basketball and a hoop,” said junior forward Jay Huff.
The Power Patriots of Albemarle High School prove that no matter your abilities, anyone can get in the game.
“They seemed really excited and I was really excited too,” said Huff. “I always love these types of things.”
AHS’s annual basketball game between the teachers and some special students gives everyone that chance to step on the court.
“They had stated that they had never got a chance to be on the high school team and that meant a lot to them actually there were tears,” said event organizer Ann Mangino. “I said we have to do something about this.”
The Albemarle students creating an electrifying environment for the players.
“We had a big crowd out there it’s amazing,” said Power Patriot Josh Rocker.
“I was surprised it was a packed house” said freshman forward Justin McKoy. “There were a lot of people here and the energy was great. It felt like honestly like a home game at JPJ almost.”
Players from the Hoos men’s and women’s teams acting as coaches for the Patriots.
“I feel so I’m so glad to have the women’s and men’s basketball team here today,” said Rocker.
“It’s like too exciting to have them here you know coach us and play basketball with us,” said Power Patriot Brian Taylor.
Giving back has become an integral part of being a Wahoo.
“I think that’s a big part of what we do at UVA,” said Huff. “Like Coach Bennett preaches that to us and I think it’s really important.
Freshman Justin McKoy hasn’t been in Bennett’s system for long, but already knows the importance of helping others
“I just loved it so much,” said McKoy. “I mean, I’ve done Miracle League before, so it was one of those things where I was like ‘yeah I’m definitely gonna do it’.”
“They have such big hearts,” said Mangino. “Our players, I know them pretty well and they are awesome and just care so much for others.”
And the players see the joy that basketball brings on all levels.
“I guess it was just refreshing you know, just knowing everyone can play the game and I just love the game so much,” said McKoy.