Basketball shootout raises funds for medical research

The GBN girls basketball program recently hosted a shootout competition to raise funds to “smash SMARD1.”

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SMARD, what?

Spinal Muscular Atrophy with Respiratory Distress Type 1, or SMARD1, is a rare, fatal neuromuscular disorder involving the death of motor neurons in the spinal cord which leads to progressive atrophy of body muscles.

The disease hits close to home for GBN girls basketball coach Danielle Fluegge whose best friends’ son was diagnosed with SMARD1 last fall as a baby. His first year of life included multiple surgeries, months-long hospital stays, and a long-term visit at Cincinnati Children’s Hospital. 

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Pictured above: Brittany and Bobby Stineman with their oldest son, Blake, and GBN girls basketball coach Danielle Fluegge. The Stinemans' youngest son Nash was diagnosed with SMARD1 last year.

Shooting hoops

The GBN shootout, held Dec. 20, raised about $6,000 for SMARD1 research. Each player in the girls basketball program had the opportunity to shoot 100 sponsored free throws. More than 100 staff members sponsored the shootout in addition to parents, students and community members.

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Senior Aminah Ahmed said it felt good to give back.

“I could support a good cause by doing what I love most, playing basketball,” she said.

Coach Fluegge said she could not believe the amount of support her team received.

“I am tremendously grateful for your pledges and am blown away by the support we received,” she said. “Our poms, cheerleading and wrestling teams lined our courts to cheer for our players. Parents, staff and administration walked around shouting words of encouragement. Our girls did a wonderful job – shooting an extraordinarily high percentage – and it made for a great night of basketball.”

Scores ranged as high as 89/100.

Video/More information

NBC Sports Chicago has named GBN as its Team of the Week. Footage from the shootout fundraiser will be televised on NBC Sports Chicago at 11:30 p.m. Friday, Dec. 29; it will re-air at 6:30 a.m. and 7:30 a.m. Saturday, Dec. 30. 

More information about the fundraiser can be found here.

Basketball shootout raises funds for medical research