Rival basketball teams unite for local Play4Kay fundraiser


Ariel Reed

King’s players, from left to right Emily Kriston, Kristen Coleman, Kayla Dillinger, Mackenzie Yori, Rebecca Prociak, Emily Morano, Samantha Rajza, Zoe Stein and Sarah Keiskell-Mann.

With a playoff spot on the line, and the chance to become the reigning team in Wilkes-Barre, the Colonels and crosstown rival Monarchs were able to set aside the rivalry and team up for a cause that is greater than themselves, and the game of basketball.

On Friday, the women’s basketball teams of Wilkes and King’s teamed up and hosted a free clinic for the children of both campus communities before Satuday’s game between the two schools.

During the clinic, Monarchs and Colonels walked the kids who participated through several drill stations and some light hearted contests.

At the stations, the players taught the kids various fundamental skills such as layups, defensive shuffling, passing, how to close out on a shooter, ball handling and spot shooting.  

“I think it is really great for the community to come together for such a great cause,” Wilkes junior Maddie Kelley. “This was a free clinic and it was done all for the kids. We accepted donations for the Kay Yow Foundation. Overall, I think it is awesome for the two Wilkes-Barre campuses to team up for such a great cause.”  

It is a great way to bring the Colonel and Monarch communities together to contribute to a cause that is bigger than basketball. 

Two rival teams joining forces helps get more of the Wilkes-Barre area involved and has a bigger impact on the teams involved. 

“I think it means a lot to get both campus communities together for the same cause,” King’s coach Caitlin Hadzimichalis said. “I think using your community and our community to kind of join forces is a big deal.” 

The event is very exciting for both teams and their programs.

“I think it is great for both programs and schools to show that it is more than just a sport,” Wilkes coach Tara Macciocco said. “It shows that we can work outside of that playing arena.”

This is the second year that both schools are participating in the event. Last year, the colleges were able to generate upward of $1,000. 

“I think it is a great way to bring the teams together in a different environment. We are competitors, but we are able to join in a fight against breast cancer,” Macciocco said. “I think the last two years we have done a good job getting the community involved and hopefully they come to the game tomorrow.” 

Even though the Colonels and the Monarchs will face each other on the court, both the players and coaches set aside their rivalries to contribute to a cause that is bigger than themselves. 

“It is such a nice event because we get to have two college teams come together and just really do something good for this community and the (Kay Yow) foundation,” King’s senior Mackenzie Yori said. “It is a bigger picture in life and I really appreciate participating in it.” 

All the proceeds the teams receive go to the Kay Yow Foundation. This foundation is a way to unite players, coaches, fans, and officials to do something for the betterment of others. 

Play4Kay is a nationwide fundraiser specifically for basketball players to get involved in and contribute to the fight against breast cancer. All levels of basketball teams can participate in this fundraiser and the Colonels and Monarch sold “Play4Kay” shirts that were worn by the fans in attendance at the game. 

Ariel Reed
Players from Wilkes and King’s come together to give back to kids in the local community with basketball instruction.