Teachers and students at Eastern Montgomery High School took to the basketball court for a good cause Friday night, but it was not an easy contest. Four teams participated in “donkey basketball,” and the players found scoring a little more difficult than normal.
The game is variation of the standard game with big exception. Players must ride a donkey while trying to get a rebound or make a shot.
Typically the event is staged at schools around the country and remains a favorite spectator sport. This was the second year the event was held at Eastern Montgomery with monies going toward the school’s athletic program.
The teams included students from Eastern Montgomery, and faculty from the high school, elementary school and Shawsville Middle School. When the dust cleared, the middle school team took the trophy.
Donkeys were introduced along with each player before competition began. They were brought into the gymnasium and laid down on the floor stretching out to prepare for the event.
Players then had to try and mount the animals while convincing them to gallop up and down the court. That was tough for several of the individuals as they were bucked off by the donkeys, and others could not get their stubborn mate to move.
The event did receive criticism earlier in the week on social media that it was cruel to the animals.
Chance Danson with Buckeye Donkey Ball pointed out his animals are well-cared for and enjoy participating in the basketball game. “They have fun doing it and are well fed,” he said.
The People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals (PETA) has called donkey basketball a cruel sport usually held by schools for fundraisers and other forms of entertainment.
The donkeys were given a 10-minute break between each nine minute contest, and between games, Danson allowed children to ride them up and down the court.
No protesters were at the ball game, and it continued as planned. According to organizers, $1,400 was raised for Eastern Montgomery athletics during the event.