Fraternities and faculty shoot hoops for charity: Staff cinch narrow win in double overtime at basketball fundraiser for Kent County NAMI

edited.CharityBasketball_MarkCooley (1)By Julia Clifton

Elm Staff Writer


On Thursday, March 21, the Interfraternity Council and the Panhellenic Council held a Faculty vs. Greek Life basketball game in Cain Gym as a fundraiser for Kent County’s National Alliance of Mental Health (NAMI).

The Greek Life teams were comprised of brothers from Kappa Sigma, Phi Delta Theta, and Kappa Alpha. Playing for the faculty team was Sarah Tansits, assistant director of student engagement, Steve Kaneshiki, coordinator of campus recreation, and Jean-Pierre Laurenceau-Medina, assistant dean of students and director of intercultural affairs, among other staff members.

Student tickets could be purchased in advance of the game and at the door. Members of the fraternities and sororities cheered from the sidelines in support of their respective players. Students on the basketball team served as referees, and sophomore Will Rotsch of Kappa Sigma manned the scoreboard.

The teams were evenly matched through the first and second halves, thanks to especially strong performances from senior Sam Rubin and junior Jack Gribble. At the end of the second half, the score was tied 61-61.

After two sudden death overtimes­—“first score wins”—the game remained tied. In the last eight seconds of the second overtime, after the fraternity team missed a layup, the staff came back with a shot to end the game with a score of 63-61.

The Interfraternity and Panhellenic councils had been planning the event since the fall and were motivated by a philanthropic desire to support WC and the surrounding community.

“We were inspired first and foremost because mental health is an extremely pertinent issue on college campuses. We knew we wanted to do a charity in Kent County to give back to our community, so we chose the Kent County branch of NAMI,” junior Will Hewitt, one of the students in charge of planning the event, said.

NAMI of Kent County is a local branch of the organization that is devoted to helping individuals and families affected by mental illness.

“It’s a national nonprofit organization that has local chapters who do local outreach. Our Kent and Queen Anne County NAMI is newer and just getting off the ground.  They help and support local people, including college students, who are suffering from a mental illness or who have loved ones with a mental illness,” Tansits said.

NAMI holds general meetings once a month with presenters on mental health topics and a support group once a month for those suffering from mental illness.

They also hold classes and training programs for families and professionals on how to help people with mental illnesses. The national organization has an annual run as well to spread awareness and raise funds.

The organizers of this event hope that that the game helped contribute to an ongoing dialogue about mental health on campus.

“Anything that ignites the discussion and brings focus to mental health helps the conversation as a whole and we think that this game is a fun way to talk about it and also get the campus involved,” Hewitt said.

“Everyone who played had fun and we look forward to hosting it next spring,” Tansits said.


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