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St. Mary's Basketball Team Brings Holiday Cheer To Hospital Patients

Eileen Pace
Texas Public Radio

It’s no fun being stuck in the hospital over the holidays, and on Thursday, St. Mary’s University Basketball Team took to the streets to deliver some holiday cheer to some of San Antonio’s patients.

“How ya doin’? We’re the St. Mary’s Basketball Team,” Brad Hubenak said, introducing his teammates to patient Johnny Gonzalez.

The Rattlers arrived to some welcome smiles from oncology and pediatric patients at University Hospital. They came bearing cartfuls of basketballs and other gifts.

“We've got to lift everyone’s spirits because it’s unfortunate that anyone has to spend time in the hospital over the holidays or any time. So we just want to come here and put some smiles on people’s faces and help them out in any way we can," said point guard Christian Bauer.

Credit Eileen Pace / Texas Public Radio
Texas Public Radio
Red shirt sophomore forward Joe Monroe signs poster for the Gonzalez family.

Bauer is a junior and said that when the coach told the team about the event, everybody was on board.

"I definitely hope we made an impact. I imagine being in the hospital over Christmas. I would want people to come a visit me," said senior center Justin Alexander.

"Oh definitely. I think it’s a great opportunity to come by and see these people. It’s mainly their families, that’s who they see all the time. It’s good to see a different face," followed senior forward Brad Hubenak.

The Rattler himself came along for the trip, and Coach Jim Zeleznak said the guys were there for the message of cheer.

"It’s also important for them to see the other side," said Zeleznak. "They’re a bunch of healthy individuals in healthy bodies, and I think it’s great for them to get everything put in perspective, especially at this time of the year."

Eileen Pace is a veteran radio and print journalist with a long history of investigative and feature reporting in San Antonio and Houston, earning more than 50 awards for investigative reporting, documentaries, long-form series, features, sports stories, outstanding anchoring and best use of sound.