WEST COLUMBIA, SC -- The start of regular season basketball play is big enough, but Fulmer Middle School’s boys’ team had an even bigger moment this week.
The team, coached by Brett Ebener, was invited to participate in an intersquad scrimmage during halftime of the University of South Carolina men’s basketball game against Notre Dame at Colonial Life Arena on November 28.
“Most of our players were nervous right before we took the court,” said Ebener, a teacher at Fulmer. “However, once we got out there and started playing, the nerves went away, and the guys had so much fun. The crowd was electric each time we scored a basket. Even as we were leaving the court to walk back to our seats, the crowd cheered for them. It was an incredible moment that the team will remember for the rest of their lives.”
The experience made a definite impression on his team, he added.
“This amazing opportunity allowed my players to experience what it's like to play in front of 15,000 passionate fans. For half of the team, it was their first time going to a college basketball game,” Ebener said. “Not only were they inspired by watching college athletes play, but after the game they were able to meet some of South Carolina's players, and recruits. One of our guys told me as we were leaving that ‘one day they're going to build a statue of me next to A'ja Wilson.’
“This opportunity showed the team what could happen if they work hard on the court and in the classroom.”
Photos courtesy of Gabriel McGee