Open Hands Hosts Annual Basketball Clinic

Madeleine Singh, Sports Editor

Project Open Hands orchestrated its annual basketball event for the Mt. Diablo Warriors basketball team on February 11 in the big gym. The Warriors team is composed of both children and adults with disabilities, and has been a regular participant in the club’s event for several years.

Members from all three Campolindo boys’ basketball teams attended to lead the Mt. Diablo athletes in a warm-up and various drills before organizing 2 simultaneous scrimmages on the gym’s adjacent courts. Drills included passing, shooting, and lay-ups.

“I think it’s a really important event for [Campolindo’s basketball players] to realize that how fortunate they are and to help out those who are less fortunate,” said head varsity basketball coach, Steven Dyer. “It was good to see my guys getting out of their comfort zone and coaching people because they’re used to me coaching them and now it’s reversed and they’re coaching others.”

The event was enjoyed by athletes and volunteers alike. “It’s really fun,” said Andrew Hissen, a Warriors athlete whose sister participated in Project Open Hands when she was in high school many years ago. “I like to engage with other players to have fun, and I enjoy it with the volunteers,” he added.

The club’s president, senior Amanda Alessandria, who has been volunteering at the annual event since she was in 7th grade, was upset that this year would be her last. “It’s honestly one of the highlights of my year,” said Alessandria. “I love being able to make a difference in my community, and it’s just so rewarding.”

Campolindo’s athletes were also happy to volunteer their time at the event. “[I helped out at the event in order to] give back to the community, you know, spend a good Sunday doing something for other people,” said junior Ryan Jeter, a member of the varsity basketball team.

According to Alessandria, the event “was pretty easy to plan because we have so many great volunteers helping out.”

The activities ended with an awards ceremony in which each athlete was presented with a medal before the group concluded their afternoon with snacks and free “Campo Hoops” hats and sunglasses.