SPORTS: ‘It’s going to be one of the biggest clubs on campus’

After being established this year, the Baller’s Club has seen rapid growth

The newly-established Ballers Club strives to bring more energy and support to SCHS’s basketball program and provide a community for those passionate about the sport. Through an array of recent events, the club looks forward to incentivizing more attendance at upcoming basketball games and furthering the sport’s culture on campus.

According to club advisor Brian Van Dyck, the Ballers Club was chartered at the beginning of the 2022-2023 school year. The club was started not only to support the basketball program but also to give students who do not play basketball yet are still passionate about the sport a place to bond with other community members who share a love for basketball.

“The Ballers Club is specifically to bring student attention and student engagement around not just the basketball sports team and basketball program but basketball in general,” Van Dyck said. “I wanted to offer the opportunity for kids to participate in an intramural program, or just have a place to hang out and talk about everything basketball. Hopefully, that translates into more kids in the stands.”

Van Dyck explained the idea arose in April of 2022 from the large group of students who spend lunch in his classroom and are always discussing basketball.

“I have 40 to 50 kids in here every day at lunch. They’re fun, they’re happy, they’re inclusive of everybody, and they all have one thing in common: they like basketball. It came through years and years of my classroom being a lunchtime basketball hub. Even kids that weren’t on the basketball team are in here, constantly talking about basketball,” Van Dyck said. “So, I said, ‘What if we just had a club that supported the teams – boys and girls – and just promoted the program?’ And here we are​.”

Ballers Club president junior Noor Musleh’s proudest achievement since starting the club is how quickly they hosted their first fundraiser in collaboration with Wicked Chicken, where 10% of purchased meals was donated to the club if they mentioned the Ballers Club while ordering.

“I’m really proud of raising money from Wicked Chicken. It made me really excited to see many JV and varsity players come together as one,” Musleh said. “We raised a good amount of money from there.”

Van Dyck shares a sense of pride toward what the club has achieved since being chartered and appreciates the consistently large turnout at meetings.

“We have already had seven meetings that have been wildly attended by 20 or more participants at all of our meetings. We’ve got a very active board,” Van Dyck said.

Beyond the club’s Wicked Chicken fundraiser, the Ballers Club also hosted a booth at the Homecoming float night in October that sold hot chocolate and snacks, and they recently established a store through BSN Sports, where Ballers Club members can purchase merchandise and gear.

“We had a really great Homecoming float night and had a really successful fundraiser to get our name out there,” Van Dyck said. “We already have logoed merchandise in the form of stickers, we have pencils and we have small logoed sponge NERF balls coming, so that once league starts, we’ll have halftime events.”

Musleh noted that the club is planning additional fundraisers for the future and interactive games that will be hosted before basketball games and during halftime to engage the crowd and give them a chance to win prizes, such as basketballs, merchandise, movie tickets and more.

“We should be looking forward to more fundraisers for sure. We should be looking forward to fun games during halftime. We would like to give out basketballs and shirts,” Musleh said. “If you make a free throw, you get a prize.”

According to Van Dyck, free throw competitions will not be the only activity that the crowd can participate in.

“We’ve purchased a very high-quality small basketball hoop that will actually be mounted on a backpack that can be raised and lowered, and we will be throwing sponge balls out into the audience. They’ll try to make shots both before the game and during halftime,” Van Dyck said.

To Musleh, the passion and enthusiasm within the Ballers Club will keep the spirit surrounding basketball alive in years to come, and the Ballers Club will continue to be an active club on campus.

“Everybody in the club is so passionate about basketball, that they’re spreading the word so much that the Ballers Club is finally getting recognized,” Musleh said. “Definitely in the future, it’s going to be one of the biggest clubs on campus, I have a lot of faith in that.”