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SFA basketball players give back to kids during Christmas break

Published: Dec. 24, 2021 at 4:06 PM CST
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NACOGDOCHES, Texas (KTRE) - With the announcement of two game cancellations just days apart, the SFA men’s basketball team would not let a rough start to the Christmas break get in the way of a tradition the program has done for several years.

Earlier this week, the team shopped for several hours at the Nacogdoches Walmart for kids the program adopted this Christmas.

“For a lot of people, they do not get Christmas like we do and one of the meanings of Christmas is to give to others,” Head Coach Kyle Keller said. “Like the three wise men, the first opportunity was to give. That is the message we should continue to send through our players and carry on in their own household as they get older. "

Keller has made this part of his program at SFA, doing it since he arrived in Nacogdoches.

“It is one of my favorite days of the year,” Keller said. “We try to change it up each year and share the wealth so to speak with different organizations and not be specific with the same one year to year.”

The players spent several hours shopping for their adopted kid. The money for the event is raised by private supporters along with the coaching staff and their families.

“The wives 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 helping. They do such a good job. These guys will need to know how to do that with their own son or daughter one day.”

As the players walked the aisles of the toy section they looked closely at what they bought, trying to meet the want of the child while also giving them something cool.

“No clothes yet,” Nana Antwi-Boasiako said. “I am going to get them a lot of toys. They like to play with toys. It is a process right now.”

At the end of the shopping all the baskets were full and all the needs were met with each player thinking they had done the best for their kid.

“I got a little bear bag,” David Kachelries said. “I’m going to have the best. My kid is going to like me the best. I also got this doll from Frozen.”

“We spent about two hours inside shopping,” Keller said. “There was a competition amongst the team on who got the best gifts. This year may have been the longest we were there picking out gifts for their child they had on the list this year.”

As of Christmas Eve, SFA is expected to return to the court on January 2,2022 against Lamar at home to start WAC play.

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