BERKELEY HEIGHTS, NJ - Columbia Middle School boys basketball team faced a fierce Hubbard Middle School of Plainfield on Friday, Jan. 31. The team battled to the end with fouls on both sides of the court. Plainfield had built a lead throughout. It was Columbia's Max Charbonneau who cut the tension and brought the crowd to their feet.
The final time out of the hard fought battle was called. Max Charbonneau subs in and showed both sides what playing for the "Tiger Team" and sportsmanship is about. Max, who loves his team, was dressed in uniform for his first game of the season. He ran on the court to play ball.
"I was very excited to have the opportunity to get Max in the game. Seeing the excitement on his face as he dribbled the ball up the court was enough to make everyone in the game happy," said Head Coach Michael Bruner.
Max received a pass and sank an outside shot to narrow Plainfield's lead. The crowd was electrified with excitement for a team favorite.
"Simply dribbling the ball up was not enough for Max. After he made a jump shot from the elbow in the game, he then passed up another shot attempt so he could get one of his teammates a chance to score as well. This is the type of caring and generous person Max is. He is always looking out for his teammates," said Bruner.
"Coach Bruner has taught the players that the team is a family and Max definitely feels part of that family," said Max's mom, Charlene. "The energy in that gym today was unbelievable. One that I don't think my husband and I or Max will ever forget."
"Max is one of the greatest children I have ever met. He has the ability to put a smile on the face of anyone he meets. His love for life and optimistic personality has helped make this season one of the best experiences of my life," said Assistant Coach Logan.
"I am grateful for having the opportunity to coach Max and will never forget today's experience," said Bruner.
Although the score didn't record a win for Columbia, the team came out victorious with sportsmanship and pride in the end. The successful Columbia Middle School boys basketball team is "the best team ever," said Max.
Video Credits to Mary Lou Stevens.