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In Avon, students and athletes celebrate the joy of playing basketball

Players break the huddle before Saturday’s For the Love of the Game basketball game at Avon High.

AVON, Jan. 21 – It’s becoming quite a tradition at Avon High and it’s getting a bit bigger each year.

The fourth annual For the Love of the Game contest was held Saturday afternoon with members of the Avon High boys basketball team and the Avon High girls basketball team playing a contest with fellow students who are physically or intellectually challenged.

Some graduates are returning to play in the game, too. “They’re always welcome to come back and play with us at Avon High,” game organizer Maria Mascoli said. More than 70 spectators, classmates and parents filled the stands to see the fun.

There was plenty of fast break action Saturday at Avon High.

“It’s about sharing the love of the game with your peers,” Mascoli said. “It gives us all a chance to come together and build comradery on and off the court.”

There was plenty of action on the floor – some drives to the basket, a few blocked shots and a few three-pointers. There were lots of smiles, laughter, fun and some celebrations after some impressive jump shots.

Parents from the boys and girls basketball teams provided refreshments for everyone after the contest was completed.

Avon High coach Kris Pedra provides some pre-game instruction to the athletes.

“It’s really been a growing success,” said Mascoli, who began the contest four years ago in 2013. “The kids love it.”

There was a celebration after a shot at the buzzer to end the first quarter.

Click on the following link for more photos from this year’s game.

Photos from previous games

Photos 2016

Photos 2015

Photos 2014

Gerry deSimas, Jr., is the editor and founder of The Collinsville Press. He is an award-winning writer and has been covering sports in Connecticut and New England for more than 30 years.

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