Most game days during the Helena High School boys’ basketball season, hundreds of fans fill the Jungle to cheer on the Bengals. Fans know and appreciate the hard work, dedication, and selflessness that goes into a successful season.
What most fans don’t know, however, is that every Monday for the entire season, the cheering comes from all 17 varsity players, who volunteer their time at Bryant Elementary School, helping students with math, reading, PE, and according to the Bryant students, “just playing with us.”
This year, the team’s generosity hasn’t ended with the season. In lieu of receiving the traditional “senior gifts” purchased by their parents’ fundraising efforts throughout the season, senior players made a unanimous decision to gift the money to Bryant School. According to Connor Murgel, The Independent Record’s Boys’ Basketball Player of the Year, “Some things are bigger than senior gifts.”
Bryant Principal, Trish Klock, was justifiably impressed that the high school student athletes would make such a thoughtful decision for her school and students. According to the principal, “The money will throughout the school as deemed most necessary. For them to give up their personal gifts is amazing.”
At a school assembly on April 5, all but one high school senior was in attendance to announce the donation of $260. While the seniors appeared understandably pleased by their gift, Murgel epitomized humble, as he told the students, “As a thank you for letting us hang out with you, we wanted to give you a gift.”
Although most students at the assembly may not have recognized the magnitude of the gift, they clearly appreciated the generosity not just of the donation, but also for the time spent volunteering in their classrooms and playground.