Oakland school declines offer from opponent

March 19, 2009 6:57:16 PM PDT
Oakland's McClymonds High School is headed to the state basketball championships this weekend. The Danville team they beat to get there offered to help pay their way. It's a wonderful gesture the Warriors can't accept.

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Danville's monte vista high had never been to the division championships before, and last week's 46 to 43 loss to Oakland's McClymonds was downright painful.

"We had a shot at the very end it looked like it was good, but it just banked off," said Monte Vista Junior Davis Nelson.

Monte Vista's Mustangs are staying home and McClymond's Warriors are headed to the state championships this weekend in Sacramento. Only they didn't have all the money they need to get there.

So Danville's parents, coach and players chipped in, donating the $1,100 their rivals needed for food and hotels.

"Yeah losing the basketball game was tough but it's about caring, it's about giving," said Monte Vista basketball coach Bill Powers.

The two schools are worlds apart.

"We just beat them so how they are going just donate money, I was like thinking in my head, thanks," said McClymond student Damon Powell.

At first the Warriors accepted the money, but on Thursday things changed, and they said thanks, but no thanks.

"We're happy that there are a lot of people out in the world that wants to donate but it's causing a lot of issues," said McClymond High School basketball coach Brandon Brooks.

Too much media attention, coach Brooks says. It's a distraction for the twice consecutive state champions, trying for a third.

The team's letting the league pick up the tab instead.

To some, it was a nice gesture from Danville, but it sent the wrong message.

"A city outside of Oakland had to come and give them $1,100. That should be done right here in Oakland," said donor Walter Johnson.

All around, it was a lesson in sportsmanship -- or Oakland slam dunk.

"For us that obviously would not have been a problem, but you know you go like 20 minutes away and you got people who can't even afford that it makes you think, why shouldn't I help give them the equal opportunity that I would have had had the game gone our way," said Nelson.

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