Earlier this evening David de Kastrozza and Maxime Lacroix attended a charity event to raise money for the Four Diamonds Foundation. Also in attendance was former Bear and AHL Hall of Famer Mitch Lamoureux. The boys were on a team of celebrities who played donkey basketball against the Palmyra School District staff.
The evening started out with 4 teams of students playing against each other in two different games. The rules weren’t too complicated. The game was seven minutes long. To shoot or block you had to be on your donkey. When passing at least one person had to be on their donkey. Seems simple enough, right? In theory, yes. Some of the donkeys proved to be a little more willing to play along than others.
Then it was time for the celebrity vs. faculty game. As they were being introduced, the announcer said that neither de Kastrozza nor Lacroix knew that they would be riding donkeys. They thought they were coming to play a charity basketball game. I’m thinking that they might have had a couple comments for Lamoureux when they arrived and found out. When it came time to play, de Kastrozza didn’t seem to have any issues getting on his mount. Conversely, I’m not sure that Lacroix ever was able to make it on his. Baskets were hard to come by all night as you can imagine. The Palmyra faculty had the shot of the night. They sunk a shot from well outside the three point line. Remember you had to be ON the donkey to be able to shoot!
In the end, the Palmyra faculty won the game. Of course the big winner of the night was the Four Diamonds Fund. The total raised wasn’t known at the time of this writing, but any money raised is going to a good cause.
After the game I was able to catch up to Lacroix and de Kastrozza and ask them about the experience.
Brian: “So I hear that neither of you knew that you would be riding donkeys tonight…”
de Kastrozza: “Nope!”
Lacroix: “We thought we were coming out to play basketball.”
Brian: Max, it looked like you were having a little bit of trouble out there.
Lacroix: “Yeah. I’ve been riding before, so it was a little tough. We’re here for fun and it was fun.”
Brian: David, you didn’t look like you had any problem.
de Kastrozza: “No, I’m kind of a pro at donkey basketball, you know. I’m kind of a weathered veteran. I had no problem dribbling. Putting a couple points up on the board wasn’t a problem.”
And now what you all came here to see. Bears riding donkeys… or, in the case of Lacroix, attempting to ride donkeys.
All Photos by Brian Mills.
Getting ready to play.
No tip off here. It’s a race to center court to get the ball. Lacroix wins this one.
One of the many attempts by Lacroix to get on his donkey.
In Lacroix’s defense, that donkey gave everyone problems.
On the other hand, de Kastrozza didn’t seem to have much problem.
de Kastrozza looking to center the puck, er… ball.
He shoots and scores!!
Lamoureux took a few shots, but failed to put one in. As he rode by he said, “This is why I played hockey!”
Lamoureux waves to the crowd.
Of course Coco was there, too. Coco did not play.
After the game de Kastrozza and Lacroix stayed so that fans could take pictures.