LAS VEGAS - The "Pink Out" basketball game at Tarkanian Middle School is the biggest game of the year - an annual battle between Tarkanian versus their rival, Canarelli Middle School.
Beyond the bragging rights of winning, the "Pink Out" game has a larger purpose, as Leadership Teacher Jeanne Clayton explained, "We do the "Pink Out" game every year, and it's a great way to raise awareness for cancer, specifically breast cancer, and all the proceeds of tonight's game go to cancer research."
This year, a special guest, Hailey Dawson, was invited to toss out the basketball.
Hailey was born with a rare condition known as Poland's Syndrome, leaving her without three fingers on her right hand, and an underdeveloped thumb and pinky finger. She now uses a specially-designed 3-D printed hand made by UNLV's School of Engineering.
Hailey has become well-known in Las Vegas - most notably for throwing out the first pitch at the World Series - and dropping the puck for the Golden Knights....which was her favorite experience!
On this day, it was a good-old fashioned after-school rivalry of middle-school hoops, and Hailey and her mom, Yong, speaking to students before the game about her inspiring story.
The message imparted was one of confidence and learning to be proactive, and the students I spoke to took these words of wisdom to heart.
8th grader McKenna DeMarce said, "I think it really inspired me to be more confident in myself." And, her classmate Taylor Taylor, "To me overall everything was just really inspirational, she's not afraid of anything."
In case you were wondering,Tarkanian won the big game in a thriller, 54-51!
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