In the days since the Sandy Hook Elementary School massacre, Newtown, Conn., has been focused on healing. Now, the town will take another important step forward when Newtown (Conn.) High’s girls basketball team plays its first game since Friday’s tragedy.
As first reported by the Connecticut Post, Newtown’s girls basketball team plans to return to action Wednesday night against Masuk (Conn.) High. The game will be played in Newtown, near Sandy Hook Elementary, where 20 children and 26 people in all were gunned down in a massacre on Friday.
"It's been difficult," Newtown girls basketball coach Jeremy O’Connell told the Post’s Mike Cardillo. "I've been amazed how the community has been able to rally around each other."
Now, the girls basketball program will attempt to help that healing process, both by returning a sense of normalcy on the court and helping raise money for the families of the Sandy Hook victims. According to the Post, Newtown will be kicking off the team’s “Threes for Sandy Hook” program, in which every three-pointer hit at the varsity, junior varsity and freshmen level will earn $3 in funds for families of the Sandy Hook victims.
The high school basketball program has partnered with bike maker Cannondale, which will match all contributions raised by the hoops team.
The girls basketball team is just one of a number of sports groups in the stunned town aimed at trying to help bring back a sense of normalcy. As highlighted by the SB Nation video you see above, youth sports officials have also tried to play their part in Newtown's renewal, opening up recreation facilities to help provide some sense of escape from constant grief and the inescapable glare of the national media which has descended on the sleepy Connecticut town.
Win or lose, Newtown will take a step back toward the life that existed before Friday with the girls basketball game. The Nighthawks are the current reining Class LL state champions, a success which has generated significant civic pride in the town in 2012.
Now the team has something important to play for again, even if it won’t come with any special notes in the state record book.