We had two slots available for youth teams to play at halftime of the 2018 SEC Men’s Basketball Tournament last week in St. Louis. I was asked to make the selections, but I really didn’t want to make a unilateral decision. This was a big deal and I wanted it to be special for the kids.
I wanted them to somehow earn the slots and I wanted it to be fair. In February, the Sports Commission launched a contest through our Good Sport Club. The two teams that got the most sportsmanship pledges signed on their behalf would get to play at halftime during designated games of the SEC Tournament.
United Seminoles Athletics (USA) is from the North County Youth Association in St. Louis. Their 5th grade boys basketball team hustled hard and encouraged more than 150 people to sign the Good Sport Pledge – the most in our contest by a wide margin. They played an intrasquad scrimmage during halftime of the Tennessee – Mississippi State quarterfinal game last Friday night.
Check out the video of their game below. Please excuse the screaming guy in the background. He tends to get excited when he sees kids doing well.
I also received this little gem on Monday morning from USA’s business manager, whose son also plays on the team:
On the behalf of the 5th Grade USA team we would like to say thank you for the opportunity. We appreciate the time you took to ensure that everyone in our party was accommodated. The players, coaches and parents had a great time. It was a lasting experience that everyone will never forget. Please feel free to keep us in mind for any future events or opportunities that may arise. It was a pleasure coordinating this event with you and look forward to speaking with you in the future.
It’s said a job needs to reward more than money to be fulfilling for an employee. This is one of those rewards…