Players get a lift from charity hoops game
Instead of wearing pads and orange-and-blue jerseys, five former Denver Broncos ditched their usual attire and wore Bronco basketball jerseys to play the Glenwood All-Star team in a charity basketball game on Sunday at Glenwood Springs High School.Over 100 people, many of whom were children decked out in Bronco gear, were on hand to witness Mark Jackson, Louis Wright, Dave Studdard, Ron Egloff and Larry Brunson take on the All-Stars, a mix of locals including GSHS players Cody Nelson, Nate Forristall and Pat Waller.Jackson, a wide receiver for Denver from 1986-92 who was part of the Vance Johnson-Ricky Nattiel-Mark Jackson reception core better known as “The Three Amigos,” likes to play the games and did so on Sunday with a huge smile on his face for its entirety.
“I love to do this,” said Jackson, who played one possession in a Glenwood Springs football helmet. “And it’s for a good cause.” The quintet of Broncos travels around the western United States playing basketball games for local charities, and on Sunday, the contest benefited a kindergartner at Sopris Elementary School who needs eye surgery. Egloff, a tight end for Denver from 1977-83, said he values the opportunity to play in the games.”It gives us a chance to get over to places where there are Bronco fans, but they never get to go to games,” Egloff said. “They’ve never been to Mile High Stadium, they’ve never been close to players, so it gives us a chance to see some of these folks and get them involved and raise money for charities. We enjoy it.”
Throughout the game, the former Broncos would pull people, mostly kids, out of the stands to assist them in shooting free throws. It is a part of the games that Wright likes.”Some of them are scared, but maybe it will give them more confidence to go out and try things and play sports,” said Wright, a cornerback for Denver from 1975-86.Five-year-old Dylan Lee was one of the kids selected to come out on the court and shoot a free throw for the Broncos. “It was fun,” said Lee, who was sporting a No. 16 Jake Plummer jersey. “I threw it and made it.”
Whether he will be shooting more free throws or suiting up in pads and taking the football field later in life is still up in the air.”I’m not sure yet,” Lee said on the status of either a football or basketball career in the future.Although the All-Stars hung close and trailed only by three early in the third quarter, the Broncos won the game 75-59. Cody Nelson was the star of the game, hitting three 3-pointers for Glenwood until he was jokingly benched by Egloff. Nelson then switched teams and hit three more 3s for the Broncos, one of which came from 8 feet beyond the arc. “It was fun. (Switching teams) was all in good fun – it’s for charity. When you’re shooting against Broncos, it’s nice to hit shots, but I was still hitting them against Glenwood, too,” Nelson said. “It was fun watching the little kids and lifting them up to shoot on free throws.”
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