WASHINGTON, Ill. (WMBD/WYZZ) — Last week’s Kevin Brown Memorial Tournament of Champions was about more than basketball.
And the Washington Panthers know it.
“Any high school (athlete) that plays a sport is in it not just for the sports,” said Washington boys basketball coach Eric Schermerhorn. “It’s about leadership, learning how to work with teammates, how to overcome adversity. We are using basketball as a vehicle to teach or kids, and hopefully other teams, there’s always a great cause.”
Schermerhorn’s players wanted to do something that would benefit KB Strong, the foundation working to fight against brain cancer named after former Panther coach Kevin Brown. So they built Pop-A-Shot machines for the Kevin Brown Memorial Tournament of Champions.
“I just came up with an idea,” Washington assistant coach Brad Stewart said. “Let’s incorporate Pop-A-Shot and give kids something to do in between games. This is going to something bigger and better. The kids are aware of that.”
Fans at the Tournament of Champions were able to play Pop-A-Shot with a donation to the KB Strong Foundation. Then after the tournament, those two Pop-A-Shot machines were raffled off.
The raffle, shirt sales and other miscellaneous fundraisers raised over $4,200 for KB Strong. In total, $70,000 was raised for KB Strong during the five-day basketball tournament.
“It’s always a good feeling when someone gets something new, especially for free, Washington sophomore Braden Vanderheydt said. “As a kid, I always wanted something like this, especially customized with TOC and KB Strong. It’s pretty cool.”