Photo courtesy of Mayo Clinic Health System
LAKE CITY, Minn. — In the midst of the hustle and bustle of basketball practices, games and spaghetti feeds, the Lake City Boys Varsity Basketball team made a special appearance at the care center at Mayo Clinic Health System in Lake City prior to Friday night’s game against Byron.
The boys, dressed in their Sunday best, along with their coach, Greg Berge, introduced themselves to a room full of residents and staff members. Team captains, Brady Kuchinka and Eli Custer, gave the audience an update of the season and thanked them for their continued support.
The team presented a basketball t-shirt signed by the entire team to Paul Peterson, a resident at the care center and avid Lake City Tigers sports fan. It was then the residents’ turn to have some fun with the boys. Jo Konkel, resident and great-grandmother to Mitchell Marien, point guard for the Tigers, presented a poster made by the residents that read, “Good Luck Tigers.” The residents all signed the colorful poster in true Tiger spirit.
Konkel says, “Even though I’m not able to attend the games in person, my roommate and I are able to cheer them on from the comfort of our own room.” All home games are now being aired by a local television station, with commentary provided by “the voice of Lake City” Craig Kennedy.
Coach Berge spoke to the residents about his team on and off court. Not only did he speak highly of his players when they were on the court, but how kind-hearted and respectful each one of his players is off the court. “These boys are the future of our community,” comments Berge. “And I am so thankful that I’ve been given the opportunity to work side-by-side with each of them.”
“I also think it’s so important for our boys to know and appreciate the impact they have on others in our Lake City community,” adds Berge. “So many people from the care center showed up to show their support for our team. I don’t think our kids quite understand the impact they have on so many people of all ages in our community. I know it was emotional and very gratifying for our players. It is so important to give back to your community.”
The residents were then given an opportunity to ask questions of the team. When asked about the team’s future, Berge says, “Our team is having a great season so far this year. I think one of our main reasons we have been successful is that they are a very humble yet confident group that really just takes each day as it comes. They learn from their mistakes, try to get better each day and are able to focus on what is directly in front of them.”
The Tigers were then treated to a protein-packed treat, and went off to defend their undefeated record beating Byron.