Donkey ballin’

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By Brandon Mattingly

This past Saturday proved once again that I have far from “seen it all.”
Before a couple of weeks ago, I had no idea that donkey basketball existed, and understandably, I’d certainly never considered the concept myself. Even going into Saturday’s event at the Mackville Community Center, I wasn’t totally sure what to expect. Although, if the local community was anything like me, I thought they would hear the words donkey basketball and be determined to check it out.

That was an understatement of the people of Washington County, as I expected to just see a decent crowd. In reality, I’m not sure I’ve seen more people pack a small area for an event since I came to WC. People wanted to see this revelation of donkey basketball and I don’t blame them, because it was nothing if not entertaining.

I wasn’t sure if the group that runs the event was going to bring their own riders or if locals would get an opportunity to show off their skills, but I was thrilled to see it was going to be community members trying their hand at the rare sport.

Seeing familiar faces fighting to get their stubborn mule to budge on a fastbreak, struggling to balance themselves long enough to force up a shot or being tossed from their ride when the donkey unexpectedly took off up court was among the funniest things I’ve seen lately.

The packed crowd in Mackville clearly enjoyed the show as well, as the gym erupted with laughter any time donkey and rider couldn’t get on the same page, which was often. I have no idea who even won each game on Saturday night, but that’s really not what mattered. Everyone getting a chance to see friends, families and co-workers taking a part in one of the silliest, yet most entertaining competitions ever is what made it fun to watch.

Hopefully, similar events find their way to Washington County in the near future, because anything this quirky, silly and just different is always going to draw attention and a big crowd.
Saturday was some of the most fun I’ve seen local residents have, and that’s the best thing that  an event like this one can offer, so hopefully we can keep things like this coming.