Somil Sanghvi, a high schooler at Loomis Chaffee decided to do a unique fundraiser that combined his passion for basketball and Ekal Vidyalaya, a cause that is dear to his heart. Ekal Vidyalaya focuses and bringing holistic development to remote and rural villages in India using primary education as a vehicle. The schools run at a very low cost of just $1 day or 365 dollars a year. Ekal Vidyalaya reaches 1.5 million kids in 54,000 schools across India.
The 2014 Ekal Vidyalaya Loomis Chaffee(EVLC) 3 V 3 Tourney was held on Feb 22. 15 teams participated in the competition. 4 freshmen, 2 sophomores, 5 juniors, and 4 seniors. After setting up the hoops, music, and popcorn, Marcus Witherspoon, Liam O’Brien, Aidan Dunlavey, and Somil did a small rule-talk and told everyone about the cause they were supporting.
Then, the games begun. Everyone played very hard, but in the end, four teams remained. The freshmen team had Connor Rush, Thomas Anderson, and Graham Struthers. The sophomore team had Joe Hinton, Cobey Adekabi, and Thomas Anderson. The junior team had Ivan Rivera, Aidan Dunlavey, and Tyler Mulberry. The Senior team had Dennis Joyce, Matt Rollings, and Matt Smoolca. The freshmen and sophomore teams played each other, and the freshmen came out on top. The senior team won their game. Then the seniors and freshmen played each other. In this final game, the intensity and energy of all these players was revealed. Matt Smoolca showed his indifference to the freshmen when he reached up and caught, yes caught, a player’s shot. He then turned and dribbled out to the 3-point line and drilled a 3-pointer, all without showing any signs of emotion...
With less than 5 minutes remaining, the freshmen were down eight, and the crowd was getting nervous. Suddenly, Graham Struthers made a three-pointer, and the crowd went wild-people jumped up, yelling, barely able to restrain from stampeding onto the court. The freshmen continued to score, and thanks to a couple of 3’s from Connor Rush, were finally down 1 with 2 minutes to go. Thomas Anderson made a steal, passed it to Graham Struthers, and Graham raised his hands to shoot the ball. As he prepared to shoot, members of the crowd, such as Ben Suski, spread their arms out, preventing their fellow watchers from doing anything, similar to the “Hold me back” action. A collective gasp was drawn in, and the ball went up, away from the outstretched hands of Dennis Joyce, and sailed right into the net. SWISH! The crowd went insane at this point, and everyone stood up for the last minute of the game. The senior class dean actually came in, and gave Dennis Joyce a little pep-talk, hoping that her grade can prevent the big upset from the freshmen. However, that was not to be, as the Victorious Secret (the freshmen team) was victorious on that day, beating the seniors after a couple more cold-hearted three’s from Connor and Thomas.
All in all, this was a great event, and the high schoolers had a lot of fun organizing it. The students were delighted to note that the donated money is going to a great cause.
Somil hopes to do this again next year in a bigger and better fashion.
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