The regular season for basketball began on an extraordinary note for Fulmer Middle School’s boys’ team as they seized a remarkable opportunity during halftime of the University of South Carolina men’s basketball game against Notre Dame at Colonial Life Arena on November 28.
Coached by Fulmer teacher Brett Ebener, the Lexington Two team was invited to participate in an intersquad scrimmage, creating an unforgettable experience for the young athletes. Ebener shared the excitement of the moment, stating, “Most of our players were nervous right before we took the court. However, once we got out there and started playing, the nerves went away, and the guys had so much fun.”
The electrifying atmosphere in the arena added to the thrill. Ebener expressed, “The crowd was electric each time we scored a basket. Even as we were leaving the court to walk back to our seats, the crowd cheered for them. It was an incredible moment that the team will remember for the rest of their lives.”
For many of the players, this halftime scrimmage marked their inaugural experience of being in a college basketball arena. Ebener highlighted the impact of this opportunity on his team, saying, “This amazing opportunity allowed my players to experience what it’s like to play in front of 15,000 passionate fans. For half of the team, it was their first time going to a college basketball game.”
The experience went beyond the on-court excitement, as the Fulmer Middle School players had the chance to meet some of South Carolina’s players and recruits. Ebener emphasized the inspirational aspect of the encounter, noting, “Not only were they inspired by watching college athletes play, but after the game, they were able to meet some of South Carolina’s players and recruits.”
One poignant moment captured the dreams and aspirations ignited by the experience. Ebener shared the words of one of his players, “One day they’re going to build a statue of me next to A’ja Wilson.” The coach emphasized that this opportunity served as a powerful motivator for his team, demonstrating the potential rewards of hard work both on the court and in the classroom.
In the end, the halftime scrimmage at Colonial Life Arena not only showcased the talent and spirit of Fulmer Middle School’s boys’ team but also left an indelible mark on each player, inspiring them to reach for greater heights in their athletic and academic pursuits.