The Harnett Central varsity basketball players and cheerleaders visited elementary schools in the Central district on Thursday, giving out basketballs to appreciative youngsters at Buies Creek, Lillington-Shawtown, Lafayette, Angier and North Harnett.
“It gives our students a chance to interact with children they might not otherwise be in contact with,” said Central athletic director and varsity boys basketball coach Will Gage. “Our kids get just as much out of it as the elementary students.”
Gage believes this is the 23rd year of the program. He knows for sure that this year the 2,000th basketball will be given out.
“Every now and then, I’ll pass a student in the hall and they will say we gave them a basketball when they were in elementary school,” Gage said.
Every class selects a recipient for a basketball.
“You can tell where the county is growing,” Gage said. “We gave out 13 balls here (Buies Creek). We’ll give out 43 at Lillington-Shawtown.”
After the balls are presented, the elementary students get to shoot with the high school teams.
The Trojans play nonconference games at East Wake tonight (Thurs., Dec. 13).