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Silver Creek’s Unified basketball team defeats Longmont Police Department, again

“We were trying, and they still are awesome,” a police officer said.

The Silver Creek Raptors won another victory against the Longmont Police Department on Thursday, with a final score of 87 to 76.

The annual game between the police department and players from the school’s unified basketball program was fast-paced and well attended.

Ethan Newby, #29, sank the first basket of the game, and then went on to score many more points throughout each period and make lots of assists.

“It was great … I like the challenge of it — I like challenging some new opponents,” the star player said.

He said the fast-paced game wouldn’t have been the same without the roaring fans in the bleachers.

“It gives the team enough support, in cheering the teams on — that’s important,” Newby explained.

His brother, Bryan Newby, #21, agreed that the fans were one of the highlights of the game.

“I felt happy … because those kids on the bleachers cheered on for me,”  he said.

And that cheering worked — like his brother, Bryan Newby scored many points, and sank the final basket of the game. 

The boys’ father, Calvin Kein, said he was very proud of his sons’ performance. 

“I thought they played excellent — they played a really good, hard game,” Kein said. “It’s great to have the kids and the fans show up and support the special needs athletes … it shows them that they’re part of this school too.”

The rest of the team showed skill with many assists, plenty of defense, steady scoring and non-stop hustle. 

Nikolai Nelson, #17, scored not one, but two three pointers, and the crowd went crazy each time. Joshua Jones, #8, also scored a three pointer, and showed great hustle.

Other top scorers were Mariah Reyes Lora, #3; Hope Palmquist, #19; Braxton Bonge, #32; and Atticus Finn, #36.

Cristal Navarro, #13, not only scored multiple baskets, but did so each time with a big smile.

Dave Bonday, organizer of the basketball game and school resource officer at Silver Creek High School, said it’s important for someone in his position to engage with the students.

“We’re here to build those relationships, and bridge the gap between police and students, and to have some influence on them early on in life,” Bonday said. “This is a chance for us to get to know and help mentor them into a positive future.”

Bonday said police always look for ways to build positive relationships with young people in the community.

“It’s super important for us to get some of the officers in here, to get a chance to relate to, and play with, and meet all the kids that are here on the unified team.”

Ryan Douglas, a former school resource officer with the school and current recruiter with the Longmont Police Department, said this is one of his favorite events of the year.

“We were trying, and they’re still awesome,” Douglas said. “I love this event — not only for the students to play in, but for the student section who cheers them on, and they display the true high school experience.”

Amber Fisher

About the Author: Amber Fisher

I'm thrilled to be an assistant editor with the Longmont Leader after spending the past decade reporting for news outlets across North America. When I'm not writing, you can find me snowboarding, reading fiction and running (poorly).
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