Not to boast, but I was once a decent basketball player.
As a kid, I played high school ball in Saskatchewan and, when my dad moved us to Utah in my Grade 11 year, on a U.S. high school team.
Many years later I attempted a comeback, my second “career” on the court ending almost as quickly as it started.
Which is why I now own an almost pristine pair of vintage Nike Air basketball shoes.
Those shoes have sat patiently in my closet for almost 20 years as I’ve moved myself and families across two provinces. They came out last weekend and I wondered just how much they might be worth.
I was shocked to learn they would fetch between $250 and $600 on eBay.
They won’t be going there, though. Instead, they’ll be spit-shined and made sufficiently presentable to garner a few dollars for the Spirit of the Game Society.
The society, if you haven’t heard, is holding a fundraiser Nov. 3 at The Sage Pub.
The Sage Pub fundraisers are legendary. Allan Redekopp and his team graciously open the pub to local not-for-profits, grill burgers and throw in a beer or other drink for $20.
Auctions, door prizes and entertainment of some sort allows the not-for-profit to generate a little love from the community.
Spirit of the Game certainly deserves the love.
Too often we read and hear about youngsters who have “forgotten” how to be physically active. Young lifestyles, it seems, are built around video games, smartphones and television screens.
The Spirit of the Game Society is working to change that.
It believes a big part of growing up is participating in organized sport. That’s a place where youngsters can learn about teamwork, discover hidden skills and personal strengths and develop bonds that will last a lifetime.
More importantly, joining a youth team allows kids to just hang with their friends and be part of a young community.
But many of our South Okanagan youth will miss out on this opportunity simply because their parents can’t afford to pay for expensive equipment and costly fees.
The Spirit of the Game Society provides funding to these families to help with league fees, uniform and equipment costs and also picks up tuition fees for sport introduction and development camps.
It is a non-profit organization with a volunteer board that does this by working with generous partners and organizing annual funding events.
The Sage Pub fundraiser goes at 5 p.m., with food service starting at 5:30. Activities include silent and live auctions, door prizes, entertainment provided by Diane Ball and a lot more — including the chance to bid on some size-10 new-to-you Nike Air Hi-Tops.
Organizers are encouraging all attendees to wear a jersey, hat, scarf, t-shirt or whatever to show their SPIRIT for a favourite team.
And, of course, $20 gets you the amazing Sage Pub burger and a beer.
Sound like a good deal? Tickets are available at The Sage, Jojo’s Cafe, Unity Osoyoos and from any SOTG board member.
Spirit of the Game believes that organized sport teaches youngsters respect, teamwork, confidence and structure — giving them the traits necessary to avoid negative outlets in life.
If that’s a vision you can get behind, pencil in the date — November 3: SOTG fundraiser at the Sage.
And bring your cash — those Nikes still have an awful lot of magic left in them.