By Daphne Psaledakis, Class of 2015
The OVS boys’ basketball team has been playing with the same jerseys for about seven years, and after that much use they look and feel worn-out and tired. Recognizing a need, OVS alumni and former basketball team member Max Wheeler decided to make a very generous donation.
“When I was a senior I saw that soccer and baseball got new jerseys, and I saw that they were donations from parents [whose] children played on the team,” said Wheeler, a senior at Cal Lutheran University. “I decided to do my part and get basketball new jerseys so that we could stay on the same level as all the other sports.”
Recently, Wheeler handed out the new dark green jerseys and warm-up shirts to current team members. Coach Brad Weidlich noted that it’s not the first contribution Wheeler has made to OVS athletics.
“Max was a tremendous team leader. He played with his heart on his sleeve and his jersey in his mouth” he said. “He wanted the ball in his hands when it mattered most, and never made excuses. Most importantly he was committed to his teammates and school. OVS is lucky to have had such a dynamic player and an even better person. Thanks again Max; we will wear these new uniforms with pride.”
Wheeler is not the first alum to donate a set of jerseys. Over the past 5 years alumni have purchased a combined three sets of team uniforms for various teams. Athletic Director Craig Floyd said, “It’s a tremendous gesture for Max, being a recent alumni to make such a generous donation that he felt so passionate about.”
There was an obvious look of excitement on the faces of the boys on the team when Wheeler handed out the new uniforms. There had been a buzz about the team getting new jerseys, but there had been nothing to prove that it was real until the jerseys were handed out.
“They’re really nice jerseys,” said Cody Triggs, captain of the basketball team. “I appreciate his generosity. We’ve been needing new jerseys for a long time, and I’m excited to play in them.”