SIOUX FALLS, S.D. (KELO) — There was no shortage of blue & yellow and youth in the stands during Monday’s first semifinal game at the Summit League Tournament.
Fifth grade students from five schools, including Journey Elementary, spent the morning in the classroom before taking a trip to the Summit League Tournament.
“They are so excited,” fifth grade teacher Morgan Ugland said.
Morgan Ugland teaches at Journey Elementary and says it’s a day students had marked on the calendar.
“Get out of school for a few hours and participate in a community event that they maybe wouldn’t get the chance to do normally, so very exciting,” Ugland said.
Journey Elementary has three fifth grade classes attending today’s semifinals. Those 60 students have spent the past few months learning all about the game of basketball.
“We’ve done some of the math things with the nature of the bracket and teams getting eliminated and what fraction of teams are left, percentage of teams out of the whole tournament,” Ugland said. “Geographically, where all the schools are at and some of the distances to get to each other,” Ugland added.
The nearly 600 tickets were provided by Wermerson Orthodontics.
“We’re just really lucky and fortunate to be able to have the opportunity and then know that my kids are going to learn something from it,” Ugland said.
“I think it’s a good life experience for a lot of these kids to learn how to behave themselves at a game, enjoy themselves and have a good time,” Orthodontist Chris Wermerson said.
In addition to donating the tickets, Chris Wermerson visited each of the five schools.
“Two-prong attack in a way because we were able to get into some schools and talk about brushing and flossing, and it’s amazing some of the fifth graders have some great questions about taking care of their teeth and then we get them excited about going to the basketball game,” Wermerson said.
And it’s something he plans to do for years to come.
“As long as the Summit Tournament can stay in Sioux Falls we’ll be donating tickets for the kids,” Wermerson said.
Each student also received a popcorn, pop, and mini basketball.