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One Favorite Pastime: Bringing A Community Together

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The Utah Jazz held their open scrimmage at Granger High School to the students and teachers delight.

The Utah Jazz held their open scrimmage at Granger High School to the students and teachers delight.

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The Utah Jazz held their open scrimmage at Granger High School to the students and teachers delight.

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IN the halls and classrooms of Granger High School ideas were stirring about the surprise assembly that would be taking place on Friday, September 30th. As the teachers told the students of when but not what it was about, for they themselves had no idea, ideas were taking place. ” I heard that it was going to be a motivational assembly, like someone was going to come and talk to us”, Damion Robertson (11) said.

However, Granger students received an even better surprise than a motivational speaker. As the students walked into the gymnasium, what greeted them was Utah’s own Jazz Dunk team. The dunk team began jumping on little trampolines, while attempting intricate moves, to dunk some hoops. When the spirit started to wane the Jazz’ own mascot “Bear” pumped Granger students up, by spraying silly string and starting chants.

Yet, the day wasn’t done with surprises for Granger High School. After the dunk teams mind blowing performance, the Jazz team walked on to the court surprising all of the student body.  ” It was really awesome. It was cool to see that an NBA team would come to our school and play a scrimmage. Just coming to Granger was enough”, Cole Olsen (12) said.

With the wan of welcoming cries from Granger Lancers, students were asked to stand whether they were or use to be a Junior Jazz player. As a handful of students stood, two were selected to be a Junior Jazz coaches. These two kids were Ian Alexander (10) and Kate Tanner (12), they received some Jazz gear and a seat on the bench.

Soon after the Jazz team conducted the well anticipated scrimmage, dividing up into a blue team and white team. The quarters were divided into four with eight minutes in each. With the players sweating up the court, news anchors and photographers were recording students’ reactions. Some like Cole Olsen, Mitch Lindsey, and Peyton Lindsey were interviewed by KUTV.

At half-time Granger students began the wave to boost both them and the team spirit. During the cool-down Jazz items that were china dolls and t-shirts were given out to students in the crowd.  As the cool -down period ended players began getting hyped up to continue their scrimmage. At the end of the game the blue team defeated the white 42-38.

Although the Jazz’s visit was coming to a close, the team had one more surprise for Granger High. The team and a selective group of students stood in the middle of the gymnasium holding a basketball signed by all the Jazz and a $1,000 check.

Gratitude and shocked filled the over-packed gymnasium. ” My reaction was like ‘Wow these people are at my school’….it makes me think that this doesn’t happen often, like it’s a once in a lifetime opportunity… the money and the game”, Morgan Varney (11) said. Another student felt along the same lines, “It was nice of the Jazz to care for the community. This experience will be memorable, some of my friends are jealous”, Mitch Lindsey (12) said.

As the Jazz departed, the media was welcoming to the players when interviewing them.  When asked about coming to Granger, Dante Exum said “They said keep it a secret all week and that’s what we did. I never been to a high school out here, it was a cool experience. It fit my vision of an America High school”.

In the middle of the secret keeping, Dr. Dunn was the head of it. “They called me three weeks ago asking to play here. About a couple weeks they came and checked out the gym and we coordinated it to make it happen. I was amazed it was kept such a secret…it was a temptation to tell but I wanted it to be special for the students”.

At the end of the day Granger High felt connected and honored to have a once in a lifetime experience, thanks to the NBA and Jazz team.

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One Favorite Pastime: Bringing A Community Together