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Donkey basketball brings laughter, funds for senior grad night at Colton High.

Basketball season may be over for Colton High School, but there was still one more game to be played. On Saturday, April 30, the players didn't just run down the court, they rode some very obstinate animals for a game of donkey basketball.

Donkey basketball is a variation of the hoop game that includes players riding donkeys during the game. They cannot pass the ball or make a shot for a field goal unless they are sitting on a donkey's back, which can prove to be a challenge as the animals often live up to their reputation of being stubborn.

PMG PHOTO: CINDY FAMA - Senior Hailey Hordichok tries to convince her donkey to, well, move.

Donkey basketball is played with five players on the court for each team, four riders and one center. The center is the only player who does not ride a donkey. Their job is to tip the ball at the beginning of the game, relay and inbound the ball after the opponent's basket is made.

The center is not allowed to shoot, but in Colton they are allowed to act up and make the game even more fun.

The animals and refereeing were provided by Donkey Sports out of Entiat, Washington.

The players learned that donkeys are not very cooperative animals. Many times the athletes were off their animal trying to steer their donkey toward the basket by pulling on the reins or by trying to guide them from atop the animal's back and ending up going the wrong way.

"This is so much fun to watch. I just keep laughing," one observer was overheard saying.

According to the handwritten notes from the announcer's table: the games began with the Assassins, a team composed of community members — Aron Thomas, David Miller, Hailey Robertson and Shane Robertson with Dael McGill as center — taking on the Graduating Jackasses — Travis Rogers, Tanner Johnson, Hailee Hordichok, Mikey Spalinger, Caleb Behrens, Jeremiah Singleterry, Jackson English, Andrey Bruzha, Filippo, Giannetti and center Dominic Day. It was the Assassins for the win and the chance to play in the Donkey Dance round.

PMG PHOTO: CINDY FAMA - Senior Caleb Behrens drops in a two from the back of his donkey teammate.

The second game pitted Donk E. Donk, with team members Cezanne Decristoforo, Dave Klein, Amy Bearden, Kristen Frye, Kendra Collins and center Chris West, against the Superasses — Jordyn Hordichok, Andrew Saldana, Shauna Adams, Rachel Baurer and center Jeremy Pierce. Team Donk E. Donk took the win.

The final game and championship was won by team Assassins.

The gymnasium was filled to the rafters with community and family members as they cheered on the donkeys (and riders). Between games, children were invited down to meet the animals. Event coordinator Vivian Day said they had a great turnout and raised a good amount of money for the senior class alcohol- and drug-free graduation party.

"I would like to thank all the parent volunteers who made it possible," Day said. "Donkey Sports for all the sweetie donkeys, Tim Behrens for announcing, the Colton Boosters for the snack shack with Addie Hordichok rocking the register and all the spectators who made the night so fun."

More from the Boosters

Colton Boosters not only helped out the senior class's donkey basketball fundraiser by stocking the snack shack for the night, but at their May 4 meeting, they voted to use $150.53 to fund transportation for the fourth-grade field trip, $202 for transportation for the eighth-grade field trip and $503 for the senior class graduation party. They also voted to designate $773 for sand for the community beach volleyball court at the middle school and $50 for the elementary school's Oregon Battle of the Books team.

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