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Student newspaper of Strath Haven High School

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Student newspaper of Strath Haven High School

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Bouncing back for a cause

School community will join together in remembrance of Chris King at 25th annual basketball marathon.
Chris+King+Game+25th+Anniversary+logo%2C+created+by+Ms.+Kate+Plows
Chris King Game 25th Anniversary logo, created by Ms. Kate Plows

On Friday, February 23, the Chris King Memorial Basketball Marathon will be held in the Strath Haven Gymnasium. This event will mark the 25th anniversary of King’s passing in 1998, and will be the first time in many years when a Thursday night game open to all WSSD community and alumni is held.

Each year, a Basketball Marathon is held for students and teachers to participate in. The event was organized in 2002 by members of the then-senior class with the help of English Teacher, and Class of 2002 Faculty Adviser, Mr. Matthew Wood.

The fundraiser is held in honor of Chris King, a former Strath Haven student who passed away from cancer. The Marathon has taken place each year since King’s passing as a way to remember him, in addition to raising money for the Chris King Memorial Scholarship.

King, who lived most of his life with cancer, is spoken of highly by those who knew him.

“He was a doer. He was a leader… His spirit was huge and his energy was huge. Very much an inspirational person.”

— Mr. Matthew Wood

“I only personally knew Chris for a short time, but I came quickly to understand what everybody– all of his peers and former teachers– had felt about him, which was that this was a very energetic person,” Wood said. “He was a doer. He was a leader… His spirit was huge and his energy was huge. Very much an inspirational person.”

Following his passing in 1998, members of the Class Cabinet came up with the idea of a nighttime Basketball Fundraiser, where students and teachers from the community could join together to celebrate King’s legacy and support his family.

What originally started as a nighttime event, eventually became the daytime event that students are familiar with now.

“It reached a point where it wasn’t working to hold it at night anymore… And that’s when we shifted it to a daytime event, which really rejuvenated the whole thing; classes sign up, go down, and play in a fun game,” Wood said.

According to Assistant Principal Thomas McLaughlin, this year will include more spaces to play and other opportunities for students to be involved in the event.

“We’re going to play three half-court games, and we’re also going to try to do a bump or knock out kind of game that you guys can play,” McLaughlin said. “The class that comes down to play, if they want to stay with their teacher for a while, can watch the next game if they can. We’re going to have people in the gym all day long, and we’re selling snacks so you can buy snacks if you want.”

This year, the 25th anniversary game, will also be the first in many years where a nighttime game will be held prior to the school event. The game will take place on Thursday, February 22, and will be open to the public so that alumni and members of the King family can attend.

You take a little break from school, but you’re still doing what you need to do in class and we get to enjoy ourselves, have fun and do so by helping raise money for a good cause. We don’t get that opportunity often.

— Mr. Tom McLaughlin

“We’re putting together two teams with students, alumni, and some faculty members, and we hope people will come out and maybe buy a T-shirt or just come out, watch, and have it be a fun night, so the King family who can’t make it during the day can come out,” Wood said.

This event, in addition to raising money for the King family, raises money for the Chris King Memorial Scholarship, which is presented to one member of the graduating class each year.

“The merit for the Chris King award is really about your character, and how you handled and overcame it. Someone who has overcome some sort of hardship, it could be a physical thing, a health thing, or it could be, you know, particularly difficult family circumstances, or just a hardship of some sort,” Wood said.

This year, the goal is to revive the event that the marathon was a few years ago. The student body is encouraged to bring in their money to support a good cause, but also to have fun and build a sense of community.

“Just the overall idea of it, all you have to do is just pay $1, you’re supporting a really good cause, and then you get to play basketball for five minutes, and then just get to watch other people play… I think that’s pretty cool,” senior Nick Costa said.

Other students are looking forward to the game as well.

“The money is going to a good place, and I’m excited to participate with all of my friends,” senior Julian Mendez said. “I think we’ll have a good time.”

All students are encouraged to bring in one dollar for each class that is attending the game, but are not required to play. Students will be able to hang out, eat snacks, buy shirts, and watch their classmates and teachers play.

“To me, it builds community, when you’re in the gym, you’re having fun, you’re playing against other classmates. You take a little break from school, but you’re still doing what you need to do in class and we get to enjoy ourselves, have fun and do so by helping raise money for a good cause. We don’t get that opportunity often,” McLaughlin said.

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About the Contributor
Sasha Binder ’24
Sasha Binder ’24, Editor-in-Chief
Sasha Binder is a senior and co-Editor-in-Chief of this year's newspaper. Outside of Panther Press she enjoys dancing, listening to music, and playing with her dog.
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