Chester student body scores with Donkey Basketball
Donkey Basketball is a variation on the standard game of basketball, played on a standard basketball court, but in which the players ride donkeys.
A donkey basketball game is usually staged as a one-shot fundraising event, typically in public schools, like the March 7 hoop shoot inside Chester High School’s Adamson Gymnasium, sponsored by the Associated Student Body.
CHS 11th-grader Nichole Cardona, president of the ASB, said that the fundraiser was more of a break-even affair, mostly put on as a community get-together for everyone attending to have a good time.
Donkey Sports Inc. of Washington State, which included referees to keep control of the basketball games, provided the eight, well-trained donkeys and protective headgear for the players.
The company stated on its website that it ensures humane treatment of the donkeys, adding that the animals are clean and well cared for.
The donkeys wore rubber shoes so as not to scuff the gym floor as they leisurely ambled about from one end of the court to the other, with assistance from the donkey handlers.
“The donkeys totally knew what was going on,” Cardona believed, and seemed to know just what their roles were. “They’ve been doing it for a long time.”
The burros seemed unruffled as they made the rounds even when a basketball might happen to bounce off them during game play.
Teams consisted of members from CHP, Seneca Hospital, plus one team apiece from CHS staff and another made up of students, said Cardona.
The 90-minute event included two first-round games lasting 16 minutes each, followed by a 10-minute break and then an 8-minute final championship round immediately following the second elimination game.
There were no prizes awarded to participants, she said, except for the opportunity to hold bragging rights for best score, adding that it was “super fun,” with everybody having a “great time.”
ASB welcomes donations from the community and businesses, she noted, and the student organization uses those donations for student activities.
“Thanks to everyone who came out and supported us and our school, and to those who participated,” she said.
Cardona said she expects that Donkey Basketball would be scheduled again for next year given its popularity.
Donkey Basketball has been practiced in the United States since the 1930s.