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ZagNative
06-02-2010, 07:59 AM
Want some chills? Check out KXLY's video and story about the special surprise six Gonzaga players (http://espnnorthwest.com/article/2010/jun/01/zags-surprise-upward-basketball-program/) provided for a sweet group of special needs kids in the Upward Basketball program in the Spokane Valley.

Be sure to check out the video, especially to hear Rob Sacre cheering the kids on!
By Derek_Deis. Published Tuesday, June 1st, 2010

SPOKANE VALLEY - For six years, the Upward Basketball program in the Spokane Valley has been providing an opportunity for special needs kids to learn the game of basketball.

"This Upward Basketball program has been amazing," said Jeff Jones, the father of a Upward Basketball player. "Just the people that have been involved, getting our kids out here on the court and letting them feel like a team."
The players in this league are used to having a lot of coaches on the floor with them. But last week, in the final game of the season, a surprise group of coaches showed up to lend a hand.

"It's something we've wanted since we've started, but didn't really know how to do it," said Cameron.

Six members of the Gonzaga Bulldogs, there for the community.

"I couldn't believe it. It was kind of a surprise," said Jones. "They're so tall."

"We kept it a surprise on purpose, because, obviously, they are great stars in this town and I didn't want all the neighborhood to be here. I wanted it to be for these kids," said Cameron.

"Steven gray and I talk about it all the time," said Zags center Robert Sacre. Like, 'how could we be a huge impact on someone's life?' And we are and you just have to take that in and be grateful for what we got. So we have to give back to the community."
"It's like just being a little kid again," said Sacre. "Being five years old again and having those little dreams and you can do whatever. And these kids feel like that and we want to be a part of that and we want to help them."

TerpZag
06-02-2010, 08:32 AM
ZagNative, once again, a thank you for highlighting this wonderful experience for these kids and the Gonzaga players.


"I'm just grateful to be healthy. And these kids are grateful to be healthy. And that's all that matters," said Sacre. "It's not about basketball. It's about being healthy and happy and that's the biggest part in life."

ZN, this was just great!

Angelo Roncalli
06-02-2010, 08:37 AM
Outstanding, ZN.

ZagNative
06-02-2010, 08:46 AM
Thanks to KXLY for a beautiful segment.

At the end of the video: "Wonder why those guys are so popular in the community? That's why."

roxdoc
06-02-2010, 09:13 AM
Saw it live - looks on the kids faces said it all - put a lump in my throat.

IdahoTJR
06-02-2010, 09:16 AM
That just shows what a class act these guys are. It did look like they were having as much fun as the kids.

Robzagnut
06-02-2010, 09:23 AM
I have a friend who works at the Children's Oncology program at Sacred Heart. She told me that the GU team shows up there all the time to support the sick kids. They just show up without TV cameras or reporters. They don't want the publicity, they're just there to cheer up the kids.

She absolutely LOVES the GU basketball team.

laszagas
06-02-2010, 09:38 AM
"Steven gray and I talk about it all the time," said Zags center Robert Sacre. Like, 'how could we be a huge impact on someone's life?'

Love Steven's attitude in life. This kid seems to be very well rounded and even keeled. He'll be successful regardless of what happens in his basketball future. What a blessing to have a guy like that leading this team. Bravo!

TacomaZAG
06-02-2010, 10:43 AM
thanks for sharing...........

Go ZAGS

ZagNative
06-02-2010, 11:03 AM
One neat thing is that the Zags seem to be having a heck of a good time. Kelly, for example, always has seemed so serious when I've seen him interviewed or on the court, but as this poor quality screen shot shows, he was having some fun with those youngsters:

http://i237.photobucket.com/albums/ff232/ZagNative/Zags/Olynyk/2010-06-01KellyOlynykUpwardBasketba.jpg

Looked to my squinty old eyes like the Zags present included Rob Sacre, Kelly Olynyk, Meech Goodson, David Stockton, Bol Kong, and assistant Alex Hernandez?

ridgebackzag
06-04-2010, 04:06 PM
Gonzaga helps special needs kids dunk (http://espn.go.com/blog/collegebasketballnation/post/_/id/11964/gonzaga-helps-special-needs-kids-dunk)


Six Gonzaga players last week made a surprise appearance to greet special needs kids learning about basketball, and it was an event the players on both sides won't soon forget.

Serving as guest coaches, the Zags exchanged high-fives, posed for pictures and seemed to especially take pleasure in lifting up the kids so they could feel what it's like to dunk.

Check out the KXLY-TV video.

"Steven Gray and I talk about it all the time," said Zags center Robert Sacre. Like, 'how could we be a huge impact on someone's life?' And we are and you just have to take that in and be grateful for what we got. So we have to give back to the community."

The Zags could have shown up and waved and left. People would have been happy they even came. But in typical Zag fashion, they went above and beyond.

By Diamond Leung

ZagNative
06-04-2010, 04:12 PM
Beatcha to it, ridgebackzag!

http://www.guboards.spokesmanreview.com/showthread.php?t=29040

ridgebackzag
06-04-2010, 04:16 PM
Darn you! :P

Please delete I shpose.