The Nederland Middle School Boys’ Basketball Team members did not win their last home game of the year on Wednesday, Dec. 19, but they did win $300. The Shortridge Family Foundation came to the rescue with a free-throw shooting contest at $100 per basket.
Players at the game received a ticket, and during half time three tickets were drawn. Those drawn were given a chance to make a free-throw on the floor. Basketball Coach Aaron Jones was one of the lucky drawers, and he swished his shot.
Mikasi Chapman also made his shot, but Jerrod Rasdall, the shortest player on the team, had a little difficulty. He kept trying, but couldn’t hit the shot. Finally, David Shortridge, head of the Foundation, told him he could shoot from anywhere on the floor.
“One little boy couldn’t make it,” Shortridge said. “The crowd was going wild for him to make it. He got down under the basket and the ball took a curve and went right through. It didn’t touch anything. The crowd roared.”
Since all three baskets had been made, the Middle School team earned $300. Shortridge had brought a monster check, and he wrote $300 on it and gave it to the team. Team members held it up in pride.
“We’ve had lots of cutbacks in the Boulder County School District,” Shortridge said. Many of the things the Nederland Athletic Department needs they can’t get. “The boys knew they were going to get $300. It’s $300 specific to them – maybe new jerseys or shoes – to spend for the Middle School Basketball Team.”
The Shortridge Foundation has given away $350,000 since it was founded three years ago in memory of David Shortridge II. For the local school the Foundation has provided $10,000 for the Athletic Department to purchase equipment such as helmets and other safety related materials. The Foundation also has funded traveling sound equipment for the Music Department.
What about the game? The Nederland boys did have one highlight. Near halftime, Bob Allen hit a three-pointer. Shortridge said Bob’s mother, Marie, was sitting by him and was almost blowing him out yelling at the team and at his son. When Bob hit his three-pointer, Marie and the rest of the crowd went wild.
“There was a roar like you might hear at a Celtics’ game, “Shortridge said.