The Saddleback College athletics and adapted kinesiology departments came together on Friday for one of the great events of the year inside the Saddleback Gymnasium, with an inclusive basketball game. The game came down to the wire with the Saddleback Patriot Strikers defeating the Mission Viejo Lakers, 48-45.
More important than the score was the atmosphere, as athletes, cheerleaders, fans, announcers and scorekeepers all worked hand-in-hand to produce a real-game ambiance. More than 300 fans attended the event, which undoubtedly will become an annual affair.
"The opportunity to engage in community outreach and student character development is important," Athletics Director Randy Totorp said. "Today's event was a perfect example of winning for all."
The event was coordinated by Saddleback adapted kinesiology instructor Michael Bennett, who coached the Lakers. His counterpart as coach of the Patriot Strikers was Michael Hoggatt, who is a learning disabilities instructor.
The game was tied at 43-43 in the final minutes when the Patriot Strikers went on a late run to win the game.
Congrats to all that played, watched, cheered and ran the scorer's table for one of the great events of the year.