Oak Glen wins the championship game; the Lansing community wins much more
photos and captions by Melanie Jongsma
LANSING, Ill. (February 13, 2018) – The ninth annual Lansing Roundball Classic ended with 6,730 food items donated to the Lansing Food Pantry, thousands of dollars donated to Lansing charitable causes, and awards for all the kids who played. In addition, the Oak Glen Grizzlies defeated the Heritage Nationals, and Brianna Rosas won the halftime Hot Shot contest. “This is as exciting as any Bulls game,” said Karen Adams about the series, “and I am totally serious. They play their heart out—and they’re good!” On the evening of the championship game, one trophy goes to the girl who wins the Hot Shot contest, and the other goes to the team who wins the basketball game.
Part of the awards ceremony before the game was a special recognition of the Lansing charities who serve the community with the donations generated by the Roundball Classic. Carrie Leonard (far left) accepted an award for St. Ann, who won the contest for donating food items for the Lansing Food Pantry. Jo Ann Shrader (holding microphone) presented the Ray Shrader Spirit Award, named after her husband, who served as principal at Memorial Junior High for 22 years. The Spirit Award was presented to Coolidge Elementary School. Ken Sadowski (in black) and Ernie Gonzalez (blue shirt) represented LARC, a community organization that serves people with disabilities. Karen Adams (white hair) represented the Lansing Food Pantry, and Amy Todd (far right) from the Lansing Area Chamber of Commerce represented the Family Giving Program that raises money for the community each year. “It restores my faith in humanity to see a community that teaches its young people about giving back to those who are less fortunate,” said Ernie Gonzalez about the series.
The schools who participated in the Roundball Classic also held a food drive contest that collected 6,730 items for the Lansing Food Pantry.
Jaiden Mason (in green) of Oak Glen tries to block a pass from Marque Smith of Heritage while Brook Miller, Talan White, and Melvin Bell look on.
Jayden Spann (#1) out-leaps Zion Gordon (#52) for the shot. Talan White (far left), Jaiden Mason (#30), and William Bass (#50) also join the tussle…
…and the shot goes in.
During halftime, the two Hot Shot finalists compete. Bryn Leonard represents St. Ann.
Brianna Rosas represents Oak Glen in the Hot Shot competition.
For the first time in Roundball Classic history, the two Hot Shot finalists tied—28 points each. An extra 60-second shootout was added, and Rosas outshot Leonard to win the trophy. The two competitors pose with Mayor Eidam. All the awards for the championship evening were sponsored by Shanahan Insurance, First National Bank, and Gerber Collision and Glass.
Fierce competition between the Nationals and the Grizzlies resumes in the second half.
Family members wear green to show support for Oak Glen.
Jaiden Mason prepares to inbound the ball while Heritage keeps an eye on the action.
At a critical moment, Melvin Bell sinks a free throw.
By late in the fourth quarter, Oak Glen had pulled ahead.
Jayden Spann from Heritage and Melvin Bell from Oak Glen, shown here with Mayor Eidam, accept MVP honors at the Lansing Roundball Classic.
Village of Lansing media capture the second-place winners from Heritage Middle School.
The Oak Glen Grizzlies mascot celebrates while team members receive their medals.
Roundball Classic organizer Rick Seymour tries to shepherd all the players together for a photo.
After all the medals and trophies are handed out, the two teams gather for photos and smiles.