CENTENNIAL, Colo. (CBS4) – It was a game that changed Marley Delaney’s life. The game where Arapahoe and Regis high schools took to the court to play against each other, but they were actually on the same side.
“The game last year was awesome,” Delaney, now a senior at Arapahoe High School, said. “I’ve never played in front of that many people before.”
More than 2,000 people filled the bleachers at Arapahoe High School, but they weren’t just there for girls basketball.
“We had some suicides in this part of town that really affected the players,” Jerry Knafelc, Head Coach of the Arapahoe High School girls basketball team, told CBS4’s Kelly Werthmann.
On that November night in 2018, the hardwood was also a platform. The game against Regis High School wasn’t about the score – it was aimed at raising awareness for suicide prevention and raising donations for local support groups.
“We raised $11,000 for two great organizations,” Knafelc explained.
It’s a cause that today, still hits so close to home.
“In the past two years, I’ve lost pretty good friends [to suicide] and it’s been pretty hard to cope with those kind of things,” Delaney said. “Especially this year, having one, we’ve all been so affected.”
All the more reason why students at Arapahoe and Regis high schools want to make this year’s “Foundation Game” even bigger.
“As soon as we knew there was a possibility, the boys program wanted in,” Troy Pachner, Head Coach of the Arapahoe High School boys basketball team, said. “Suicide is a global issue and we want to be part of coming up with solutions.”
The boys teams were so inspired by the girls athleticism and heart, they too will take to the court next Saturday to make a difference.
“We had to be a part of this!” Korey Hess, an Arapahoe High School senior, said. “There is so much heart that goes into this game. You’re going to see a lot of passion out there from the girls, boys, Arapahoe and Regis. We are playing for something bigger than us.”
Delaney is sure the stands will be overflowing with fans once again for the second annual Foundation Game. A game that won’t just change her life, but will hopefully save many others.
“It doesn’t even matter if we win or lose, it’s just like, ‘I’m here making a difference,’” she said.
Instead of charging admission for the Nov. 23 game at Arapahoe High School, the school is asking for donations that will all go to Judy’s House and the Second Wind Fund. Both organizations will also share information at the game for anyone who may be in need of help.
For those who would like to support the Foundation Game cause but cannot attend the game, donations are being accepted.
LINK: Foundation Game
SUICIDE HOTLINE: 1.844.493.8255 or text TALK to 38255