CMU, Thunder Mt. partner on hoop donation

CMU, Thunder Mt. partner on hoop donation
Posted on 04/15/2019
kids playing basketball

Grand Junction, CO – Colorado Mesa University Head Women’s Basketball Coach Taylor Wagner knew something was missing from the playground as he dropped his kids at school.

There appeared to be more children playing basketball than there were hoops. The observation resulted in a trip to the CMU Department of Athletics storage facility, where he found a number of rims and poles not currently in use at CMU. Wagner believed the items might be a good fit for the Thunder Mountain Elementary School playground. He called Diane Carver, the school principal, who agreed additional hoops would benefit the children.  

“Everyone knows CMU’s partnership with School District 51 is strong in academics, but it’s also strong when it comes to athletics,” said Wagner. “Student athletes who learn to love their sport early do better later in their sport. Donating the hoops is a small contribution to making this wonderful sport of basketball available for more people.”

District 51 and CMU athletes gathered for a hoop dedication ceremony at 11 a.m. on Thursday, April 11, 2019, at Thunder Mountain Elementary School, 3063 F ½ Road, followed by a skills clinic at the school. 

When Taylor mentioned the idea to install hoops at Thunder Mountain to CMU co-athletic directors Kris Mort and Bryan Rooks, they contacted CMU President Tim Foster, who in turn called D51 Superintendent Diana Sirko with an additional idea. 

“President Foster said if we are donating the hoops why not have our women’s and men’s basketball student athletes dedicate the hoops with a skills and mentoring clinic for the elementary kids,” said Mort. “Our Women’s team had a remarkable year and so many of our players are great students as well as athletes. They are perfect examples for young children when it comes to demonstrating what the future can hold with hard work and balance.” 

School District Superintendent Diana Sirko embraced the idea of student athletes and elementary students working together and plans to join the dedication event. 

“Diane Carver worked closely with CMU as well as FCI Constructors to have the installation of the hoops done for free, and just in time for spring,” said Sirko. “Her resourcefulness and the generosity of FCI and CMU Athletics resulted in a big win for Thunder Mountain students.” 

CMU also donated hoops to Tope Elementary School, and FCI Constructors installed the hoops at both Tope and Thunder Mountain.

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