Every now and then, games come along that make you forget what the score was and focus on the sportsmanship that occurred.
A couple of recent games come to mind, involving both the girls’ varsity and junior-varsity basketball teams from Parker High School.
In one game, the varsity showed its good sportsmanship against Camp Verde in the Yvonne Johnson tournament during the last week of December.
Not long after, the Parker JV was the recipient of good sportsmanship in a game against rival Lake Havasu.
In the varsity game, Camp Verde had a player with special needs, senior Kimberli Watkins, enter the lineup. Watkins put up her first shot and missed. Parker’s Sederia Carter retrieved the ball and gave it back to Watkins. Two more shots and two more misses. Carter gave the ball to Watkins for a fourth try, and she finally scored. The crowd went crazy.
“That right there . . . it’s something in sports you just don't see that often anymore,’’ Camp Verde coach and athletic director Rick Showers told Camp Verde Bugle sports reporter Travis Guy.
“People are so worried about themselves and selfish kind of things, and here we had two groups of kids focused on one goal, and that was getting this young lady a basket, and that's awesome.’’
A week ago, on Jan. 7, the Parker JV was playing at Lake Havasu. The Broncs also have a special-needs player, Kieli Sullivan, who went into the game late in the third quarter.
Sullivan kept shooting the ball and Lake Havasu’s girls kept giving it back to her until she made one, just before the buzzer. The crowd went nuts.
“The refs came over and kind of warned us that a special needs player was going to come into the game,’’ said Lake Havasu JV coach Lee White. “It wasn’t really planned or anything, we just thought it would be nice to give her (Sullivan) an opportunity to shoot once in awhile.
“We just wanted to do something for her to remember. You want to help create a moment like that if you can.’’
Those situations are good examples of what the Arizona Interscholastic Association’s Victory With Honor guidelines are all about.
Thank you to the programs at Parker, Lake Havasu and Camp Verde.