By Kevin Wilson
Hank Baskett couldn’t bring Clovis to Philadelphia, so he did his best Saturday to bring Philadelphia to Clovis.
Joined by his Philadelphia Eagle teammates, Baskett entertained a packed Rock Staubus Gymnasium Saturday night in a less-than-serious basketball contest against Clovis High School Alumni.
Before the tip-off, the third-year receiver knew Clovis had supported him by the fans who circled Rock Staubus 90 minutes before the game.
“Look outside,” Baskett said. “When you see people around the gym, that shows how Clovis is supporting this game.”
Players like Eagles quarterback Donovan McNabb drew big cheers, but the loudest cheers and ovations came for Baskett, and Jaden Isler, the Clovis High senior who survived sudden cardiac death at a March 27 softball game in Canyon, Texas.
Other alumni were happy to get another chance to play with Baskett. Tory Roberts, a Lubbock insurance agent and 2003 CHS grad, expressed pride that Baskett reached the NFL, but noted Baskett and his teammates are just normal people with high-profile jobs.
“They’re people,” said Roberts, whose brother Thomas was also in the lineup. “They like to goof off and have fun.”
He knew it would be tough to compete against NFL athletes.
“We’re not going to try to take out legs or anything,” he said with a laugh, but we’re going to try hard.”
The back gym was decked out with tables and NFL merchandise, mostly from the Eagles, available via silent auction. The items had minimum bids ranging from $20 for candy baskets to $250 for game-worn cleats and autographed jerseys.
Proceeds from the event went to the Oasis Children’s Advocacy Center and Clovis High School.
Hank Baskett Jr., the receiver’s father and Oasis executive director, was glad his son and his teammates could help take Oasis’ charity events to another level.
“I’m a believer if Oasis is meant to be here and do well, God will provide,” the elder Baskett said. “We’re fortunate to have someone like Hank who’s unselfish of his time and his money. It’s unselfish of these players too.”
Baskett credited Jamie Malloy and others for legwork, getting donations for the game and for the Tee’d Off About Child Abuse Golf tournament, which continues today at Chapparal Country Club.