Lady Lions host bunko for community

Senior basketball players Bre’Zall Warren and Taylin Underwood pose for a photo using the Cinco de Mayo themed props in the photo booth. Jennifer Dettwiller/The Lion’s Roar

The Lady Lions basketball program hosted “Bunko for Basketball” to help raise money for a foreign tour.

“Bunko for Basketball” took place in the Student Union Grand Ballroom on Friday, May 4 at 6 p.m. with food and refreshments to match the Mexican theme for Cinco de Mayo.

Head Coach Ayla Guzzardo explained that they chose their theme because Cinco de Mayo was the next day. She further explained how the PRIDE organization has been a helping hand throughout the years with “Bunko for Basketball” and that they did not want to change the event too much.

“It’s not really changed too much,” said Guzzardo. “Our PRIDE organization has been spear heading it for the past seven events. So, this is our eighth. It’s the first time our coaching staff is really running it, but we do themes every once in a while. Last year, was just green and gold. This year, it falls close to Cinco de Mayo. So, we’re having like a Mexican theme along with our green and gold extravaganza.”

Guzzardo credited the past success of this event to the women of the PRIDE organization. Guzzardo explained what PRIDE does for the team and this event.

“As you look around the room, take notice to a great group of women who not only support this community, but support women’s basketball here at Southeastern,” said Guzzardo. “This group of women known as PRIDE is a support group just for Lady Lion basketball. They have been instrumental in planning, organizing and running the past seven bunko events. This year they have passed the torch on to us, and we are forever thankful for everything that they do, not only during bunko but the continued support during the season.”

Guzzardo said that women in PRIDE go to every basketball game. They help with the team’s socials and help the Senior Day each year to show their support for the team.

Senior guard Bre’Zall Warren discussed why getting involved with the community is important to her and the rest of the team.

“It’s a game that is very interactive,” said Warren. :You get to talk amongst the players, and you get to meet people all from the community.”

According to Guzzardo because of the support the team is receiving from the community, the team is getting closer to its goal to tour.

“We’re here to raise a little bit of money for a potential foreign tour to kinda do some things that we want to do,” said Guzzardo. “We want to be a championship program, and it’s no surprise that it takes money to win games and be a championship program. It costs close to about $40,000 to go on a foreign tour, you could do it every four years. It’s something that’s in our reach, and these type of events help that out.”

Junior guard Ashailee Brailey discussed why the community’s support in this event is a step towards bettering herself and the team.

Brailey said, “It means a lot that people in the community are helping us, first of all, and like with travel and everything, that allows us to go to further places and not only play against like really good teams, but also just have the opportunity to go places that we’ve never been before just to be able to tour those places and see what they have, like in Colorado or Texas and things like that, so I think it’s really important for us to be able to do a fundraiser like this to help us see places we’ve never seen.”

Warren discussed the roles she and her teammates played during the event.

“Basically, making everyone feel comfortable and making everyone feel welcomed and just helping everybody stay organized and have fun,” said Warren.

Guzzardo credited the players for the success they have accomplished over this past year.

“This group of women, young ladies, has excelled on the court, in the community and most importantly in the classroom,” said Guzzardo. “They dedicate a lot of their hard work, blood, sweat, tears for us, and we could not be any prouder.”