West Boys Basketball brings Christmas to local pediatric patient - KULR8.com | Montana's News Leader | Billings, MT

West Boys Basketball brings Christmas to local pediatric patients

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The Billings West Boys Basketball team delivers Christmas presents to local pediatric patients spending the holiday in the hospital The Billings West Boys Basketball team delivers Christmas presents to local pediatric patients spending the holiday in the hospital
The Billings West Boys Basketball team delivers Christmas presents to local pediatric patients spending the holiday in the hospital The Billings West Boys Basketball team delivers Christmas presents to local pediatric patients spending the holiday in the hospital
The Billings West Boys Basketball team delivers Christmas presents to local pediatric patients spending the holiday in the hospital The Billings West Boys Basketball team delivers Christmas presents to local pediatric patients spending the holiday in the hospital

Not everyone can make it home for the holidays, so the Billings West Boys Basketball team is bringing Christmas to those spending the weekend in the hospital.

With a little tape, and a lot of teamwork, Golden Bears delivered presents and joy to patients at Billings Clinic's Bob and Penni Nance Pediatric Unit.

"I think a lot of us on the team have been injured, and it's never fun to be in the hospital, especially on Christmas," West's Jake Bell said. "We wanted to do something to help, and this was a good opportunity."

Bell coordinated the team's "Tips For Tots" tournament, where 49 teams and community contributions helped Bears boys raise nearly $1,000 towards the project to make the season brighter for local kids.

Following the tournament, the boys bought gifts from pediatric patients' wish list, then made a special holiday delivery to Billings Clinic.

"I'm sure there were a little nervous when like 15 of us walked in there," Bell said. "The girl that got the teddy bear was pretty happy!"

Bell said he worked with the hospital's Pediatric Nurse Manager, Nicole Woods, to make sure patients got an item on their wish list.

"Grateful, amazed...that we've got this wonderful group of young men wanting to do something and give back to the community," Woods said.

With each cent spent and sentiment, the boys bonded over a special cause, and the true meaning of Christmas.

"Seeing all these little kids with smiles on their faces is awesome," said West Senior Forward Cleveland Harvey, "I hope it warms their hearts, and warms our hearts."

Bell said any remaining money not spent on gifts will be donated to one of their Billings West peers, Arianna Cole, who is undergoing rehab for a variety of cranium head surgeries. Bell said he hopes the donation will help pay for Cole's medical expenses and some holiday fun.

The team also hopes to continue the "Tips For Tots" tournament and project to give back to the Billings community.

"It was a fun and good feeling helping people," Bell said. "Being around the big Teddy was fun too!"

Great work, Golden Bears!

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