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Boosters keep basketball games going

As area schools brace for another round of budget cuts, their sports programs are more than ever thankful for the folks who help keep the games going.

Coaches like Dale Latimer and John McDaniel know just how fortunate they are to have the support of the Nevada Union Basketball Boosters, which has helped fund NU hoops since 1994.

And in recent years, they have been providing much more than a “boost” to the program. Since 2002, when budget cuts eliminated all but coaching stipends from both Bear River and Nevada Union high school athletic programs, Bruins and Miners have essentially been funded through their communities.



NU’s basketball boosters, comprised of about 30 community volunteers, support both the boys and girls programs at all three levels, varsity, junior varsity and freshmen.

“Our boosters are pretty much the primary source for everything the basketball teams need,” said Jim Lee, president of the NU Basketball Boosters. “I think the coaches get their stipends from the district, but we help with everything else, like uniforms, transportation, equipment, referees and tournament entry fees.”




Lee, a local dentist, said when he and his wife, Carol, volunteered to take over the booster club, it was already well established.

“Scott Spencer (former president) really left the boosters in a pretty strong position,” Lee said. “Our kids have always played sports at Nevada Union and this was a good way to help the program.

“We’re looking at a budget over $20,000 a year to keep all six teams going. And it’s a real struggle right now because everybody is hurting. Sponsors who have been so eager to contribute in the past are still eager, but not able to contribute as much as in the past.”

The crab feed typically raises between $2,000 to $4,000 for the programs, while the auctions added around $8,000 more last year, Lee said. Some of the top prizes for the auctions include gift certificates for bed and breakfasts, restaurants and sporting venues.

Offering all-you-can-eat crab in order to fund the program has been a win-win for all involved, Lee said.

“There are a lot of crabbers around here,” Lee said. “I’ve seen a lot of advertisements for crab feeds. But along with the crab, it’s a nice way for people to get together with people who like basketball and support the basketball program.

“The camaraderie is great and everybody loves it.”

Know & Go

NU Basketball Boosters fourth annual Crab Feed

6 p.m., Saturday, Feb. 20

St. Canice Center, 236 Reward St., Nevada City

Cost: $40 per person

Menu includes all you can eat crab, clam chowder, pasta, salad, bread and a no-host bar, serving beer, wine and soda. The night will also include live and silent auctions.

Advance ticket sales only. No tickets will be available for purchase at the door. Tickets purchased prior to Feb. 12 will be entered in a special drawing. Proceeds benefit Nevada Union High School boys and girls basketball programs.

For more information, or to purchase tickets, please call Jim Lee (265-2749) or John Paye (305-0012).

Contact Sports Editor Brian Hamilton via e-mail at bhamilton@theunion.com or by phone at 477-4240.


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