Kingwood High School and Kingwood Park High School Best Buddies students got nothing but net at their annual Best Buddies Basketball Game.
Students and parents filled the Kingwood High School gym Friday, Dec. 2 for the 5th annual Kingwood High School vs. Kingwood Park High School Best Buddies Basketball Game. Throughout the school year the organization hosts other social events similar to the basketball game. Kingwood High School has hosted the annual basketball game against Kingwood Park High School for the last 5 years. The game also serves as a fundraiser for the Kingwood High School Best Buddies chapter.
Best Buddies is an international organization dedicated to ending social, physical and economic isolation of millions of people with intellectual and developmental disabilities. The mission is to create opportunities for one-to-one friendships and leadership development.
Before the game kicked off the buddies warmed up their basketball skills with a few basketball exercises with their peer buddy. The students practiced their layups, dribbling, and passing.
“This year we had so many peer buddies sign up for the program we had to create family clusters,” Charlie Brenner, Kingwood Park High School Best Buddies President said. “Instead of matching our buddies with just one peer buddy, we are able to match them with two or three.”
Best Buddies is a student-run organization so the game is put on by the peer buddies and the Presidents of both chapters take the lead on game day. Clipboard in hand, Kingwood High School Best Buddies President, Blake Brown gave out hi-fives to each buddy participating in the game.
“Activities like the basketball game get the students excited and ready to play,” Brown said. “Having their friends and families cheering them on is a plus!”
Also offering support and many cheers was the Kingwood High School Varsity Cheer Squad. The stands were filled with parents and students from both campuses and peer buddies gathered on the sidelines to help motivate and cheer on their buddies.
“I think this is the best organization for students to be involved in because it has a lot to offer,” Laura Dailey, Best Buddies parent said. “Since joining Best Buddies my son has been more outgoing and open to doing new things.”
At halftime Andy Guzman, Kingwood High School sophomore and Tristan Reynolds, Kingwood Park High School junior spoke about what Best Buddies meant to them.
“The best part of Best Buddies is getting a buddy,” Guzman said. “I like hanging out with my buddy and talking about cars and basketball!”
After the speeches, halftime turned into a dance break and students from both schools joined each other in the middle of the court to dance. The game was very close but ended with Kingwood High School winning 39 -34.
Several of the Humble ISD high schools have a Best Buddies program on their campus. If you would like to learn more information about joining Best Buddies please visit Best Buddies Online.