SMHS benefit basketball game for boy with Leukemia

MEDFORD, Ore.- South Medford High School held a benefit basketball game to raise money for a boy with Leukemia on March 19th.

Every year, South Medford High School supports a child from the Sparrow Club, which is an organization that helps kids support others in medical need. South Medford High’s current Sparrow is 17-year-old Jared, who is fighting Leukemia.

South Medford High Senior and President of the Key Club, Rubi Zamores, says she knew Jared before she came to the school.

“I was actually lucky enough, he was my Sparrow when I was at Mcglothlin Middle School,” Zamores said, “It was really awesome to reconnect with him again and be able to host an event for him”.

This year’s benefit basketball game was organized by South Medford High’s Key Club, a community service club at the school. Entry to the game cost either $2 or two cans of food. Zamores says the club didn’t want to exclude anyone from the match.

“We are having options on entry fees of two cans of food or $2 as a way to be more accessible for everyone else so they can make a difference with money or with canned food,” Zamores told NBC5, “We will eventually give that to a different nonprofit, so we widen our help in the community”.

The school also held a raffle during the game, with items like shoes, Prom tickets and signed basketballs up for grabs. All proceeds from the game go to Jared and his family.

“I believe, last year we raised about $700, somewhere roughly [around] there and I’m hoping this year we can make more than that,” Zamores said, “We are just hoping that this makes a difference in Jared’s life”.

With the goal of raising money for their Sparrow in mind, students and staff were excited to battle it out on the court. Needless to say, the competition is pretty stiff.

“I am super excited to go against my students,” SMHS Spanish Teacher Jose Vargas said, “They have been talking smack all week long and we, the teachers, are also ready, we are locked in, ready for this game”.

“They came in here very disrespectful thinking that they’re going to win it and that it was just going to be their game,” SMHS Senior Makani Manuwai said, “I feel like we’re getting rid of those rumors, and I feel pretty confident in our performance”.

But at the end of the day, it’s good-natured fun for a good cause.

“Jared and his family, we love you and we want to support you and everything here today, as much fun as it is, is for you,” SMHS Senior Logan Crocker said, “You just make us better together”.

Though Jared and his family couldn’t attend the game due to medical needs, Zamores says he was rooting for the student team to take home the win.

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NBC5 News Reporter Lauren Pretto grew up in Livermore, California and attended University of California, Santa Cruz, graduating with a double major in Film/Digital Media and Literature with a concentration in Creative Writing. Lauren is a lover of books, especially Agatha Christie and Gothic novels. When her nose isn't buried in a book, she knits, bakes, and writes.
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