Teachers and staff at Grover Cleveland Middle School gave thanks for something a little different this year-a basketball win.
After a month-long competition between students in grades six through eight, teachers challenged the winning team from each grade level, winning all three games.
It is the eighth time in the ten-year tournament that the teachers outscored the students in the annual event after losing to the eighth grade teams in 2006 and 2007.
The annual 3-on-3 tournament is organized by a student committee advised by sixth-grade teacher Ryuichi Saito. The tournament is open to all students in grades six to eight. Multiple teams from each grade compete amongst their peers to determine who will compete against the faculty. Those not playing attend the event to cheer on their favorite teams.
“The event really brings the students together,” said Saito. “They create their own teams and each team has a mix of both boys and girls playing simultaneously. This year, more than half of the sixth graders participated.”
The competition began on Nov. 12 with additional matches held throughout the month, culminating with the student-faculty game on Nov. 19. The faculty beat the sixth grade champs, the Umpa Lumpuz, 31-6, the seventh grade champs, 27-19, and the eighth grade champs by a small margin of just 17-16. More than 300 students, parents and faculty spectators attended each of the events, and although all teams performed well, the faculty went undefeated.
“Students really look forward to the competition,” added Saito. “The gym is packed with students from all grades and groups, supporting one another and cheering. The cheering is highly encouraged!”