TOWN AND COUNTRY, MO (KTVI)– The SLU Billiken men’s basketball team surprised the patients at Mercy Children’s Hospital by dropping in for a visit with a portable Pop-A-Shot game in tow. The children challenged the players to friendly games for 2 hours Thursday afternoon. When SLU junior guard Jordair Jett accepted the Pop-A-Shot challenge from Mercy patient, Katy Holmes, he had no idea what he was actually agreeing to.
“She came out hot. Real hot.” Jett said with a bit of surprise in his voice, “They said she was practicing before, so we expected her to be pretty good.”
“I thought that I could do it, and I just shot, and I made it in” said the victorious Holmes.
The stakes of this particular contest said the loser had to do push-ups. So the SLU junior hit the floor to pay up, but Katy got to decide how many he had to do.
“I didn’t want to make him do a lot, so I just chose 10” giggled Katy.
“She beat me by about 6 points,” recalled Jett, “and told me to do 10 push-ups and counted them all. Counted them all up.”
The Billiken’ visit to Mercy Children’s Hospital was not about winning and losing. It was about something far more important to both the children and the players.
“They love it” explains Tara Anders, Mercy Hospital Child Life Specialist, “It helps normalize the environment for the kids so they feel like their not in the hospital. It helps them to feel better and get moving. So it’s a really great opportunity for them.”
SLU Graduate Assistant coach, Danny Brown added, “We want our players to have a sense of community and giving back, and understand what that means. People come out and support us when we’re doing well, so we want to support people when they are in a time of need.”
“It really makes me feel good for them to be happy to see us, as basketball players, and to come out and support them” recalled Jett.
According to Katy, the Pop-A-Shot champion, everyone was a winner during this special visit.
“That was really cool because all these kids at the hospital are really bored, and they’re sick, and they don’t know what to do, and then whenever they came, it just made them smile and happy.”
Katy went on to challenge the other two Billiken players to a game of pop-a-shot, and was victorious in both, which meant push-ups for both players as well.