To the editor:
The rivalry of small town high
school sports is fun and fantastic. Take high school boys and girls
basketball, you have the clear distinction of the friendly rivalry
atmosphere with both schools proudly wearing their school colors and
shouting cheers to root their team on as the contest heats up. However,
on Friday, January 27, it was much different with the Defiance vs.
Ottawa-Glandorf high school boys’ basketball game. From the moment that
you walked in OG’s gym, the atmosphere was one of unity in one cause.
Starting with the coaches and players from both schools wearing HOOPS 4
LUKE t-shirts. Cheerleaders and fans from both communities were wearing
HOOPS 4 LUKE shirts, and others wore their TEAM LUKE t-shirts as well.
the rivalry of the game in this packed gymnasium took place with both
teams working hard to bring home a victory, but the mood of the entire
night was the theme of the HOOPS 4 LUKE project. In this fundraising
effort, both the Defiance and Ottawa-Glandorf communities came together
to support the family of a little 3 year old boy named Luke who is
The effort consisted of selling HOOPS 4 LUKE
t-shirts, 50-50 raffle, bracelet and seat cushion sales and donations.
Defiance gladly got on board with this effort and greatly supported it.
They bought t-shirts, conducted and donated proceeds from a 50-50 raffle
held at the Defiance vs. Ottawa-Glandorf girls’ basketball game the
night before, and others from Defiance donated money as well.
is the son of Cory and Heather Haselman. Cory and Heather are both OG
graduates and Cory was a member of the 2002 regional finalist team that
was knocked out of the tournament by LeBron James and Akron St.
Vincent-St Mary’s. It is amazing that 15 years later, the community is
once again rooting for a former OG basketball player, his family, and
especially his son, Luke.
The Defiance connection is twofold. In
Cory’s younger years, he’d encountered Kirk Lehman, the current DHS
boys’ basketball coach, through summer basketball camps. Kirk and Cory
respected and liked each other from the start. Additionally, Cory works
at the Defiance Regional Hospital and Heather had also worked there up
until Luke’s illness. So many Defiance residents have come to know them.
night was simply amazing for Luke’s family and we can tell you it is a
very humbling experience to see so many people united in this effort. If
such a heartfelt effort ever happens in large cities, we don’t see how
it is the same as it is here in small communities. We are very fortunate
to live in such a caring and generous community. I’m sure that the
close family upbringing explains the need for people to want to give
back to others and to count their own blessing.
from Luke’s family to Tyson McLaughlin, OG boys’ basketball coach &
athletic director, who organized this whole project. Thanks to Kirk
Lehman and the Defiance High School and community as well as
Ottawa-Glandorf High school and community. Thanks to the numerous
unnamed people who donated supplies and gave their time for this
project. Most of all, thanks for your prayers. Thanks seems so little to
say, but know that we pray for your families that God keeps you safe
and healthy as well. THANKS EVERYONE!
The Family of Luke Haselman