Men’s basketball blue vs. white game raises funds for Haiti


White vs. Blue, at the mention of these two colors who knew it could mean so much?

These two colors came together this past Thursday as a team, but yet a competitor against one another for the spectators that filed into Osborne Hall around 8:30 p.m. The competition ensued with a goal to win the game; but yet a similar goal, a goal to raise funds for former teammate Eric Coblentz and his wife whom are missionaries to Haiti.

After the game the Pioneers competed in a slam dunk contest. (Photo by Autumn Berry)

Although the blue team came out on top with a win of 56-26, the real winners were the children in Haiti.

The basketball team was able to raise $450 with this event, and with a few contributions from others the team was able to send a check of $600 to the mission to support one child’s education for the year.

The basketball team has been in support for Haiti for the past three years. When asked about the reasoning for the support, men’s basketball head coach Tim Walker said that they were in contact with Eric’s brother whom was helping with the orphanage down there, where Coblentz is now outreaching.

It is also stated that with the natural disaster that went through Coblentz’s brother and his brother’s wife were down there, which gave the team a natural fit. Now that Coblentz is in Haiti they have even more of a natural fit.

[pullquote]With Eric (Coblentz) being here it helped me a lot,” Elliot said. “If I can help him in some way that would be special to me, especially helping Eric.”[/pullquote]

“It’s good to have a personal connection with someone who is down there doing the work,” Walker said.

His former teammates also had nothing but wonderful things to say about Coblentz’s missions in Haiti.

Junior power forward Cory Veldhuizen said that Eric (Coblentz) was a leader for three years for the team, gave a lot to the team and he feels it is important that the team give back to Coblentz.

Much like Veldhuizen, senior guard Kyle Lodermeier had all positive things to say about his former backcourt mate.

Lodermeir and Coblentz came to the Pioneers at the same time, and he said he is saddened by the fact that he hasn’t been able to keep in touch with such a great person.

He also feels it is a good thing to support a great guy like Coblentz who did so much for the Pioneer basketball program.

“He was a great guy and he did so much for all of us in his time here,” Lodermeier said. “Whenever you have the opportunity to return the favor the best you can, you want to do what you can for him.”

Junior point guard Isiah Elliot has been able to keep in contact with Coblentz through Facebook messaging. Elliot said that Eric likes it in Haiti, and he also follows him on Instagram so he can see photos that his former backcourt starting mate has posted while he is over there.

“With Eric (Coblentz) being here it helped me a lot,” Elliot said. “If I can help him in some way that would be special to me, especially helping Eric.”

Coblentz’s impact on the Pioneers program is obvious with a fundraiser such as this and now with $600 in hand he has the chance to make a lasting impact on that orphanage in Haiti.

Looking ahead to the tip-off  of its season the Pioneers will open it on a two-game home stand. It is the first full-fledged season in the GLIAC for the Pioneers men’s basketball team as they host Cincinnati Clermont at 7:30 p.m. in Osbourne Hall.

Cy Boord is a contributing writer and video producer for The Aviso AVW.

Categories: Sports

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