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Basketball game bounces back after 4-year drought

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Cherubs fight for a rebound during the East vs. West Basketball game. Photo by Desiree Luo

The East Coast vs. West Coast basketball game returned this year, allowing students to exercise and make memories on and off the court.

The 2023 cherubs are the first students to return to campus and participate in traditions since 2019 — the last year of on-campus programming before the pandemic.

Community and academic associate and East Coast coach Nicole Markus said this tradition is a special one for her to experience because she was a cherub during the pandemic.

“It has been really great for me to be here and experience the things I didn’t get to as a ‘pandemic cherub,’” Markus said.

The game allowed students to make new friends and familiarize themselves with those around them, Tomas Moran of Wheaton, Illinois said.

“There were a lot of people there that I hadn’t really spoken to before, so getting to interact with them and talk with them through the common medium of basketball was great,” Moran said.

There’s no expected level of athleticism in this game, so cherubs of all talent levels can participate. What is expected of every cherub, however, is that they support each other.

‘It’s okay if you don’t want to play and just cheer on your team; that’s just as helpful,” Jonathan Kim of Los Angeles said.

Mariam Ahmed of Doha, Qatar said the game allowed students to make memories no matter how they contributed to their team.

“If you don’t play basketball, you should still go; if you don’t feel like going, you should still go and if you love basketball, you should definitely go,” Ahmed said.

The game was close, with the West winning 22-20 by score, but everyone involved was a winner by enjoyment, Carlo Vellandi of Ladera Ranch, California said.

“Why not do it?” Vellandi said. “You will regret it if you don’t because you will see everybody coming back just smiling, laughing and having a great time.”

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