Written By: Mia Harrison and Mike DeMarshall
Brendan Koken is a 4th year player on the Men’s Club Basketball team. For this year’s THON, Brendan was chosen to be a dancer with the support of the team and other dancers on his side. Besides THON, the Men’s Club Basketball team helps the community through a variety of service events that the players participate in. Specifically, the Men’s Basketball team helps young kids develop their basketball talents by allowing them to participate in camps and practices with their players. This is a great way to get more involved within the community here at Penn State and within State College, while also helping children better themselves.
Brendan THONs because of the experiences that changed his perspective on life. It has really made Brendan think more towards children suffering from childhood cancer, to be able to help such an amazing cause. Whether it is the yearlong fundraising efforts or donations from family and friends, raising money for such a great cause is something Brendan cherishes. Allowing everyone to have an outlet to get involved within THON Weekend is such a good thing because it’s such an amazing and beautiful thing to experience.
Aside from dancing, the Men’s Club Basketball team has multiple other events that they participate in to help raise money for THON. Some events include: a 3v3 tournament, Super Bowl squares, an assassin game, and finally, were all able to reach out to their different families and alumni. Brendan’s favorite event was the 3v3 tournament because they were able to join together with the Women’s Club Basketball team. The environment was super fun and exciting for everyone, it made it better since it was For the Kids®. Brendan described the environment of the 3v3 tournament in two words: “wholesome event.”
Brendan’s favorite THON memory happened last year at THON Weekend 2022 with his Rules & Regulations committee. Brendan and his committee all stood in the upper bowl after their shifts were over, during the final four hours of THON Weekend. Being able to share that memory and the range of emotions, being happy they were all together and sad because of the family stories, was something he said was unforgettable.
During this THON Weekend, Brendan really liked the performance done by Natasha Bedingfield on Friday night. In addition, Brendan’s favorite meal so far while dancing in THON Weekend 2023 has been pasta with vodka sauce and bread. Brendan said, “it is good because the carbs are good.” As for the rest of the Weekend, Brandan is looking forward to the pep rally the most!