In spite of governments at a global, national and local scale suggesting self-quarantine and imparting travel restrictions in a growing number of places on a daily basis, several Socorro basketball fans made the trip to Finley Gym for El Defensor Chieftain's Socorro County Free Throw contest on March 14.
Nearly three dozen local children, ranging from ages five to 17 came to try to claim a trophy in one of four age categories, and of course their parents showed up in support.
City of Socorro Recreation Assistant Director Valen Alonzo agreed it was nice to see kids get out of the house and have some fun, despite an increasing number of government sponsored restrictions.
“It gets people out of the house. It’s something fun for the kids to do,” she said. “Especially with basketball. They really enjoy basketball. It’s a really fun sport for them to do, and this is the first year we’ve done the free throw contest. So it’s something new for them.”
As for the contest itself, Christian Gonzales, Matayeau Alonzo, Jacob Angel and Lukisha Gonadonegro were among the event’s winners, but the real prize of the day seemed to be the trophies that were handed out.
“They’re really excited about the trophies,” Alonzo said. “These are bigger trophies than they’re used to getting, so I think it gets them excited to be able to know that they can get that.”
And in the confines of the decades-old but now remodeled Finley Gym, there was little to no evidence that the world outside was in distress.
Many of the adults in the audience held their own impromptu free throw shooting contest, and like their children and family members with them seemed to be all smiles for the day.
Mateyeau Alonzo with Cricket Wireless was even on hand to treat participants to free pizza.
Alonzo agreed it was nice to see the kids who attended the event happy.
“Especially with what’s going on right now … We try to show them that is a safe place to be, and everything is fine here,” she said.
Alonzo also said it was nice that the City of Socorro carried on with the event, as New Mexico Governor Michelle Lujan Grisham last week recommended a ban on events with more than 100 people.
“I think it’s really good for everyone to have something to do instead of being cooped up in the house,” she said. “I just think it’s good for them to get out, has some fun; have something that they can do.”