NACOGDOCHES, Texas (KTRE) – With the announcement of two game cancellations just days apart, the SFA men’s basketball team hasn’t let a tough start to the Christmas holidays hamper a tradition they the program has been going on for several years.
Earlier this week, the team shopped for several hours at Nacogdoches Walmart for the kids that the program adopted this Christmas.
“For a lot of people they don’t get Christmas like we do and one of the meanings of Christmas is giving to others,” said head coach Kyle Keller. “Like the Three Wise Men, the first opportunity was to give. This is the message we must continue to send through our players and continue in their own homes as they age. “
Keller has incorporated this into his program at the SFA since his arrival in Nacogdoches.
“It’s one of my favorite days of the year,” Keller said. “We try to change it every year and share the wealth so to speak with different organizations and not be specific with the same from year to year.”
The players spent several hours shopping for their adopted child. Money for the event is raised by private supporters as well as the coaching staff and their families.
“The women come out and help,” Keller said. “The players wrap the gifts and some of them have never wrapped a gift before, so the wives will be there to help. They do such a good job. These guys will have to know how to do this with their own son or daughter someday.
As players walked the aisles of the toy section, they took a close look at what they bought, trying to meet the child’s needs while still providing something cool.
“No clothes yet,” said Nana Antwi-Boasiako. “I’m going to give them a lot of toys. They like to play with toys. It’s a process right now.
By the end of the races all the baskets were full and all needs were met, with each player believing that they had done their best for their child.
“I have a little bear bag,” said David Kachelries. “I’m going to have the best. My child is going to love me the most. I also got this doll from Frozen.
“We spent about two hours inside the stores,” Keller said. “There was a competition between the team to see who got the best gifts. This may have been the longest year we’ve spent there picking out gifts for their child that they had on the list this year.
Starting on Christmas Eve, SFA is expected to return to the field on January 2, 2022 against Lamar at home to start the WAC game.
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