Hoops team does more than play

Published 9:05 pm Tuesday, December 23, 2008

They came to play basketball, but one of the teams in the inaugural Ironton Classic basketball showcase decided to extend a hand of friendship and holiday spirit during its visit to Ironton.

Monday night, the Campbell Memorial High School team from Campbell, in northeast Ohio, played a team from Largo, Md. But on Monday afternoon they delivered gift bags to the residents at Jo-Lin Health Center.

“The superintendent (Dean Nance) asked us what we wanted to do while we were here and instead of going bowling I said we wanted to visit a hospital or something like that,” Red Devils coach Brian Danilov explained. “So we got some fruit and candy and some little stuff like that and we split into groups and went through the halls. Some of them sang Christmas carols. It was nice, nice for everybody.”

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Danilov said the team is very familiar with community service. They volunteer weekly at a local food bank.

“We got a great group of kids. I think it’s important to get out and do the right thing. This was a win/win for everybody. It’s not just about basketball, it’s about making the world a little better,” he said.

Center Michael Tiliakos agreed.

“It just made us feel really good,” Tiliakos said. “I volunteer at a local hospital once a week so I know how those people felt. I wanted them to know we’re not just a bunch of players who don’t care about where they’re going in life.”

Shooting guard Dorian Jones said the residents seemed pleased to have them as guests.

“They wished us Happy Holidays and wished us good luck in the game,” Jones said.