Written by Téa Griffith and Sydney Breitkreutz
Many student organizations across campus support THON™ Athletic Events. The THON Men’s Basketball game is not just about the sport; it’s a celebration of community and a platform to spread awareness about the cause. The arena is adorned with THON-themed decorations, and volunteers are on hand to share information about THON’s mission and the impact it has on the lives of children and families affected by childhood cancer. Srikar Rao, a senior studying biotechnology and the President of Legion of Blue, was well prepared for the annual THON Hoops game. When asked how he prepared for the game, he said “I did some research on Minnesota, who’s their best players, coach, and what we as student section can do to get inside their heads.”
Throughout the game, the players on the court give their all, fueled not only by the desire to win but also by the knowledge that their efforts contribute to a greater cause. The crowd’s enthusiasm is infectious, creating an environment where every basket, every defensive play, and every cheer feels like a collective triumph.
We then asked Srikar how the Legion of Blue will bring THON’s mission to the crowd. In his response, he exclaimed “The Penn State student body is a passionate group of people that are always motivated to help for a great cause. The annual THOOPS game has brought everyone from former alumni, future students, and current student body to the Bryce Jordan Center all in support of THON’s mission of spreading awareness and hope for childhood cancer.” In between game segments, THON families and children who have been directly impacted by childhood cancer are often featured, sharing their stories of strength and resilience. There was also a section behind the blue band dedicated to Four Diamonds families. Additionally, we asked Srikar if the Legion of Blue has any traditions for the THON game. He then eagerly answered saying “Our organization works with Penn State Athletics, and we have been doing the annual THON game for some time now. Every year the annual THON game has bright colored t-shirts for all of the student section as they proudly represent our school and our student-led philanthropy.”
As the final buzzer sounds, signaling the end of the game, the sense of accomplishment and unity lingers. The THON Men’s Basketball game is more than just a sporting event; it’s a testament to the strength of community, the power of collective action, and the unwavering commitment to making a positive impact in the world. The memories created during this event last far beyond the final score, serving as a reminder that when individuals come together for a common cause, they can truly make a difference in the lives of others.
Featured Image: Sarah Lynn DeCarlo | THON™ Photography