Holiday hoops

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

Ahmed Mackey, coach of the Somerset Vo-Tech Jaguars, 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 delivered toys to Matheny on Christmas Day.

The team arrived Christmas morning, bringing several hefty bags of toys and games. 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.”

There are plans for some Matheny students and patients to attend a future Jaguars game. In the meantime, they won’t soon forget the special visit on Christmas Day. And some of the players hinted that they might be back on Valentine’s Day.

Matheny student Richard Kozlik with assistant coaches Mike Remeta, center, and Erik Bowers.