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High School Basketball Teams Brighten HolidaysFor Matheny Students and Patients

Somerset County Vo-Tech basketball player
Devon Gardner and Matheny student Yasin

Two high school basketball teams – the Somerset Vo-Tech Jaguars and the Delbarton School Green Wave – brightened up the recent holiday season for students and patients at Matheny.

Somerset Vo-Tech boys basketball coach Ahmed Mackey told the Courier News he wanted his players “to see that life is about more than just basketball.”  So he had his team organize a toy drive and deliver the toys on Christmas Day.  The team arrived Christmas morning, bringing several hefty bags of toys and games into the patient dining rooms. According to Janice Kriegman, Matheny development officer, who was at Matheny that day, “the boys seemed to instinctively know how to interact with each resident. I was touched by how natural and caring they were. They had just the right touch.”

Bryce Curnin, left, and Ryan Murphy with
Matheny student Catherine Aragona.

On January 3, the Delbarton team visited Matheny to participate in adapted basketball contests with students and patients. According to one of the Delbarton players, Bryce Curnin of Basking Ridge, NJ, “It was a great experience for the whole team, and we all really appreciated the opportunity to help out.”

Matheny physical education instructor Jim Hintenach and recreation therapy director Sean Bielefeldt created a variety of basketball games designed to level the playing field, and the event resulted in an hour packed with fun and camaraderie  in an arena-type atmosphere. “It was very humbling to see the students at Matheny,” Curnin added. “I hope it meant as much to them as it did to us.”



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