Playing At Heart

9 victims, one foundation, two basketball teams do make a difference.

February 14, 2020


Photo Courtesy of Creative Commons

IRVINE – On Friday, Jan. 31, 2020, Arnold O. Beckman’s High School hosted a basketball game in honor of the Altobelli Family in light of the recent tragic helicopter crash that took the lives of nine individuals. Both Beckman’s Varsity Girls and Varsity Boys basketball teams played at 5 p.m. and 7 p.m., respectively.


The game was free of admission, but Beckman hosted a fundraiser for the Altobelli Family Memorial Fund from the Orange Coast College Foundation. Beckman was able to raise around $5000 for the foundation.


The death of basketball legend Kobe Bryant sent the sports world into shock. Many looked up to him and regarded him as one of the greatest players in the National Basketball Association (NBA). Senior basketball player, Justin Wood stated, “He was an inspiration. He showed how hard work can take you places in life and that nobody should get in the way of you following your dream. That is the Mamba Mentality.”


The helicopter crash was so sudden and unexpected, so this was an especially emotional night for the basketball players. Basketball player Ethan Bozzo said, “The first thing that came to mind when Kobe passed away was that it was fake. When more articles came out I realized it was real and felt remorse for his family and daughters who had to live without their father.”


While Kobe Bryant’s death was very saddening, many people showed up in support of Ms. Sissy Oberlin. Her brother, John Altobelli, was among those who died in the crash. Audience member Mike Faust attended despite not personally knowing the victims. He explained, “I believe in helping people. Just because I knew no one on the helicopter, it’s always good to help one another.”


The boys’ varsity basketball also hosted their senior night during this game, and it was undoubtedly an unforgettable game for all who participated.


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