Donkeys coming back to Vale gym for annual basketball game

VALE – Hooves will be trotting and shots will be dropping at the third annual donkey basketball game this Saturday in Vale.

Starting at 6 p.m. in the Vale High School gym, teams of students, faculty and community members will be competing on the backs of donkeys. 

“There will be eight donkeys roaming on the court. Players have to hold on to the basketball and shoot it when they get close to their hoop,” said Susan Gregory, a member of the Project Grad 2021 parent group and head organizer of the event. “It’s very entertaining, especially if you know some of the people involved.”

Gregory said the proceeds from the event will benefit Vale High School graduating class of 2021. She said about 20 parents and students are actively involved with Project Grad 2021, raising money for the class graduation party. 

The effort covers the venue, entertainment, food and prizes.

“We just wanted to have a jump start,” said Gregory. “We started doing donkey basketball when the kids were seventh-graders.”

Four teams of eight players will be competing with donkeys on the basketball court. 

The teams are named after local business sponsors, including the Ontario Auto Ranch, CAPS, 2J Contracting and the Willowcreek Store.

“The sponsors got to pick three to four players to have on their team. The rest of the team is filled in by community members,” said Gregory.

The first game will be between 2J Contracting and Ontario Auto Ranch, said Gregory. 

Sponsor picks for the 2J Contracting team include Brad Jacobs, Austin Dayton, Matt Bates, Whitney Barnes and Tanner Hamilton. For the Ontario Auto Ranch team, the players are John Milleson, Fritz Heid, Rey Rodriguez, Caleb Leuthold, Justin Allison, Beth Valdes, Justin Hall and Lexi Schaffeld.

The winning team of that game will then play the winner of the contest between CAPS and Willowcreek Store. 

The CAPS team includes Garett Chamberlain, Josh Tolman, Kevin Zhan, Leo Baptiste, Oscar Behena and Carla Wright. 

Meanwhile, Willowcreek Store players include Melissa Store, Brayden Gregory, Austin Gregory, Ryan Hart, Ashley Giacomo, Jeri Scaffeld, Bo Bourasa and Marco Ramirez.

Tickets are available at the door cost $9 for adults, $7 for students and $4 for students in Kindergarten through sixth grade. 

For the latest news, follow the Enterprise on Facebook and Twitter.

TRY A FREE SAMPLE – You can see for yourself the kind of local news reporting produced by the Malheur Enterprise with a news team focused exclusively on news that’s important to you. You can read us for free for 30 days. Signing up is easy and then you have 24/7 access to our reports. Sign up HERE. Or you can support some of the nation’s best journalism by subscribing to our digital news service for $5 a month, easy and automatic. Subscribe HERE.