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Foshay Learning Center basketball team gets new uniforms, shoes

December 17, 2012 12:00:00 AM PST
Team sports usually require team uniforms. But for years, that hasn't been the case for the basketball team at James A. Foshay Learning Center in South Los Angeles. Generous donations are outfitting the players to look more like a team.

The Foshay junior and senior varsity basketball teams got exactly what they hoped for this holiday season: uniforms and basketball shoes. That's essential gear for any team sport, but something these players have not had for years.

Player Jonathan Hess spearheaded the effort to get his teammates uniforms.

"When we look at the other team, we don't look as unified as a family. It doesn't transition to our play, but it brings us down," said Hess.

Hess says they used to hit the court in just about anything they could piece together from home or anywhere else.

"So I reached out to as much people as I can," said Hess.

The community opened its heart. Sport Chalet provided team jerseys and shorts, and WSS Shoe Company donated basketball shoes.

"We'll feel better as we're playing. We'll be more grateful once we win and get that championship that we needed," said Hess.

"This is remarkable," said basketball coach Pete Zayas. "This is very tough times in LAUSD from the financial standpoint, so for the extracurricular activities we don't get a whole lot of funds."

Uniforms and shoes came in all sizes. Some sizes had to be extremely large. No one got left out -- not even "Baby Shaq," who wears size 17 shoes.

"We are going to look like a team, we're going to play like a team," said teammate Tristan Baizar. "Of course we're going to win, because we got the heart and we got the power and we got the mindset and we got the focus. Now we have the uniforms."

"They are our future, so when we heard that they needed uniforms, that's what we specialize in, and we were happy to help," said Tracy Clayton, a Sport Chalet representative.

"Whenever we have an opportunity at WSS to support our community and support the youth of today, we try to jump in and do what we can to make sure they're getting on the right foot," said Tony Oliver, WSS Shoes chief operating officer.

The Foshay varsity basketball team has a record of five wins and seven losses so far this season.

"There is no more losses. No more losses," said Hess. "Win all day, baby."


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