We are often reminded that one of the best things about the holiday season is the ability to help those in need. It’s a special time of year, and Rock Canyon assistant basketball coach Nick Mahan …
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We are often reminded that one of the best things about the holiday season is the ability to help those in need.
It’s a special time of year, and Rock Canyon assistant basketball coach Nick Mahan and his uncle, Shawn Dominguez, who is a Colorado State Patrol officer, were feeling good as they helped orchestrate a donation of old Jaguars basketball uniforms to a school in Derby, Australia.
The uniforms were used by kids and even adult teams in Derby.
This bittersweet story came to light when Trev Menmuir Sr. and his son, Trev Menmuir Jr., were in Colorado and spoke during a course on emotional intelligence for Colorado Department of Public Safety employees in late October.
Gerry Cleveland, an attorney for at-risk kids and a businessman from Australia who has known Trev Menmuir Sr. for years, helped teach the course, and since the Menmuirs were being treated to a three-week vacation in Colorado and Washington, D.C., they were invited to speak to the CDPS class.
What they told the CDPS group was moving and when they asked for donations of basketball equipment and paraphernalia, Dominguez called Mahan, who talked with Rock Canyon head coach Kent Grams and found some old uniforms to ship down under, along with gifts from other donating organizations.
“The class was so moved that we reached out to different sources to find basketball attire for the kids,” said Mahan. “Rock Canyon donated home and away uniforms for the kids. The uniforms were a big hit with everybody in Derby.”
Derby is a tribal township in western Australia with a population of 3,325, and 47.2 percent of the population is of Aboriginal decent. Much of the Aboriginal population faces poverty and poor living conditions.
Trev Sr. is employed at the local school as a counselor. His paid hours are 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. on weekdays, but he usually works from 5 a.m. until 11 p.m. between Monday and Saturday. On Sundays, he is usually working between noon and 10 p.m.
His day starts at 5 a.m. as he drives around to pick up students for school because their parents are unable to drive them.
Trev Sr. has a classroom with room to nap for the kids who did not get a good night’s sleep because of issues at home. He has a uniform program and keeps clean, spare school uniforms for any kids who have a dirty uniform. He issues laundered uniforms so students are not bullied for being dirty.
There is also a breakfast area for kids to get food to start the day and another room with games, puzzles and a TV, on which National Basketball Association highlights are shown. Basketball is the second highest team participation sport in Australia, according to Basketball Australia. Australian Rules Football is the No. 1 watched sport.
After school, the Menmuirs run a basketball league with about 100 players but practice and games last sometimes to 10 p.m. Afterward, the Menmuirs make sure the players get home.
On weekend trips, Menmuir teaches kids about the Aboriginal culture, including hunting, fishing and singing. They also make boomerangs, hunting tools and musical instruments like didgeridoos.
There was a basketball tournament early in December in Halls Creek, outside of Derby, with 15 teams. Trev Jr.’s team won the tourney wearing the Rock Canyon uniforms.
There was also a town fair in Derby, where more basketball games were played and all the NBA jerseys collected by the CDPS class were handed out as town fair prizes.
Jim Benton is a sports writer for Colorado Community Media. He has been covering sports in the Denver area since 1968. He can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org or at 303-566-4083.
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