December 24th, 2011

Elementary Excellence: Christmas Classic

Sarah Newell

CSN Staff Writer


 Elementary Excellence: Christmas Classic
Photo from Scott Wiegandt

 Schools give back to Shively Area Ministries

The following feature is a part of a weekly series called "Elementary Excellence" - a set of profiles that will spotlight Louisville area Catholic elementary schools and its athletic programs, teams, traditions and excellence in all aspects of sports. Do you want your school to be featured? Send us your recommendation to editor@catholicsportsnet.com.

With a tradition of excellence in academics, athletics and community service, Notre Dame Academy and St. Paul recently put together a basketball competition to give back to others.

“My coaching staff and I wanted to do something special to give proceeds from a basketball game back to the community,” said Notre Dame Academy Basketball Coach Scott Wiegandt.

So, with a connection to Bellarmine University as Athletic Director, Wiegandt helped direct a third and fourth grade boys’ basketball competition on December 18 at famous Knights Hall, home of the 2011 Division II Bellarmine National Champions.

“We made a big deal out of it and charged $5 admission per family or asked the family to donate a sack of can goods,” said Wiegandt. “All of the proceeds went to Shively area ministries to help those less fortunate in the area.”

With additional assistance from Shively Sporting Goods who supplied t-shirts for the participants, the inaugural Christmas Classic brought in 30 bags of can goods and $249 to the efforts.

“This effort teaches the kids what the spirit of giving is all about and to be thankful for what they have,” said Wiegandt. “The proceeds help the less fortunate in our area, and that’s a great lesson. Shively is close to both of the schools so what we collected will benefit the area most of those boys live in.”

Wiegandt, who leads his Bellarmine Knights in community service efforts within the athletic department, says he hopes this Christmas Classic game can continue to bring fun competition and assistance to the community for upcoming years.

“We had incredible feedback from both of the school’s families,” said Wiegandt. “The families hung around to make sure the boys cleaned the gym after the game, and they loved playing in that type of setting. In upcoming years, we want to take a look and see if it’s feasible to enhance it and make it bigger and better.”

For NDA and St. Paul’s teams, Wiegandt said the young students look up to the Bellarmine Knights and enjoyed a high profile game atmosphere.

“We wanted to do something special, and it evolved to have music playing for the introductions. We tried to run it like a big event for them and make it a special. It had a 'big time feel' where they lined up for the National Anthem and did what they see on television,” said Wiegandt. “They enjoyed it.”

And ultimately, especially around the holiday season, Wiegandt says the priority was right where it needed to be.

Said Wiegandt: “It was about having a first class experience for the teams and having the proceeds go to Shively Ministries. Everyone thought it was a great event.”

 

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