A night to remember when the Milltown Basketball Buddies game was showcased

A night to remember when the Milltown Basketball Buddies game was showcased

The showdown to determine who will own the bragging rights this year at the Milltown Primary School was showcased on the evening of Wednesday, March 27.

The venue was the Bridgewater-Raritan Middle School  gym, which was jammed–despite the rainy weather outside—with an enthusiastic crowd who watched an enthusiastic group of Milltown basketball players who were coached by enthusiastic Milltown staff members and high school students.

And of course enthusiastic—and quite devoted—program coordinators and the school principal were also on hand.

They all came together to participate in the school’s marquee event of the year----the Milltown Primary School Basketball Buddies Tournament.

This game signaled the 16th year that this highly anticipated—and watched—basketball game is played between two teams in the Basketball Buddies program that was created a decade and a half ago at Milltown that unites Special Education students with their schoolmates who participate as 4th Grade Peer Models.

The forces behind this event are dedicated staff members who care.

That fact starts at the top with Milltown Principal Matt Lembo and the three terrific Milltown teachers who team up to serve as the coordinators of Basketball Buddies—-Debbie Shah-Patel, Gina Quaglia and Quinn Hickey.

There are plenty of others who are out there coaching and supporting the students—one team is known as Milltown Maroon and the other is called Milltown Gold.

They are coached by Milltown staff members and Bridgewater-Raritan High School students.

The head coaches are two Milltown Physical Education Teachers, Shannon Chartowich and Bryan Smith.

These two warm-hearted teachers had this to say about this year’s hoop game.

“The event was a huge success bringing together the entire community to celebrate our students. The athletes, coaches and fans cheered, showed great sportsmanship and made memories that will stay with them forever,’’ Coaches Chartowich and Smith revealed.

They both added:

“We couldn’t be more proud to be Milltown Mountain Lions.”

Principal Lembo shared how proud he was, too.

“The Basketball Buddies concluding celebration was another resounding success,’’ Principal Lembo claimed. “Once again this event celebrated Milltown’s core principles in a manner that built confidence, belonging, and pride in school.”

Ms. Shah-Patel, who was joined by her son, Jayden, a high school junior who devoted his time to help coach, provided her emotional summary of this year’s celebration.

“Basketball Buddies is a testament of the inclusive and supportive community we've built here at Milltown School. I love this program  because it gives many of my students an opportunity to participate on a sports team, which would not be possible without Basketball Buddies,” she stated.

Ms. Shah-Patell continued with her cherished feelings about the game and the program.

“Basketball Buddies is not only a favorite of Milltown staff members, but has also extended to the family members of Milltown staff over the years. The referee, scoreboard keeper, and high school coach were all family members of Milltown staff! Not to mention all the staff members who brought their significant others and children to attend the game and cheer on our students. This makes it even more special and contributes to the "Milltown Family" culture established at this school,” she said.

So, who won the big game and earned the bragging rights?

Milltown Primary School.


Here are all of the devoted people who make this all happen.

Milltown Basketball Buddies program



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