Hoop field trip brings smiles for Best Buddies

Amy Maciejowski

Quinnipiac’s men’s basketball team saw an entirely new cheering squad at Saturday’s game against Mount St. Mary’s. Members of Best Buddies, a subgroup of Community Action Program, enjoyed showing blue and gold spirit while accompanying their “Buddies” to the basketball game.

“They cheered, danced, sang and raised their spirit fingers when the boys were shooting free throws,” senior Best Buddies Activities Coordinator Kayla Palmieri said.

Best Buddies is a nonprofit organization that dedicates its time to establishing one-on-one friendships for individuals with intellectual and developmental disabilities.

“We may have had the rowdiest section–cheering and dancing,” Senior Membership Coordinator and Co-Chair Corey Sherlock said. “We had a couple special visits from Boomer, which was definitely a highlight. After the event, every couple minutes someone would say ‘That game was a blast!’ That’s what makes this group so rewarding and fun.”

The Athletic Department provided Quinnipiac University Best Buddies as well as Cheshire High School’s Best Buddies chapter with 40 tickets for the buddies to experience the game. Since TD Bank Sports Center is handicap-accessible, there were no major difficulties accommodating the buddies at the game.

“We’re just a bunch of friends going to a basketball game,” Sherlock said.

After the success of attending a men’s hockey game last year, members of QUBB wanted to continue the trend of showing the buddies Quinnipiac spirit.

“We thought it’d be neat to incorporate them into our community and give them a snapshot of what activities are meaningful to other QU students,” Palmieri said. “We thought it’d be a unique event and would be very interactive with the QU community.”