Western girls basketball to host Play for Preemies Showcase

Photos: Ashley Thornton

Editor’s Note: Originally scheduled for January 7th, Play For Preemies is now January 21st. Same times, same matchups and same cause as detailed below.  


Western Albemarle’s girls basketball program is taking a worthy cause that hits close to home that they’ve supported for years now and created an all-day benefit tournament.


Several other local squads are helping the Warriors out too, coming together for the first annual Play for Preemies Showcase, a day of benefit games hosted at Western Saturday January 7th.


A portion of the proceeds will go to UVa Children’s Hospital, Carilion Clinic Children’s Hospital and the March of Dimes.


In 2012, Western Albemarle coach Kris Wright and his wife Heather lost one of their two twins, Nora at three weeks of age after Nora and her brother Colin were born at 29 weeks old weighing just 2 pounds and 7 ounces each.


In 2015, the Wrights welcomed another daughter, Avery, into their family. Avery was also born premature at 30 weeks old. Both Avery and Colin are doing well, with Colin now four and Avery 18 months old.


Shortly after Nora passed away, the Western girls squad got involved in supporting the March of Dimes’ work with premature births through the March for Babies and that work carries a common thread onto the showcase. The program has raised more than $20,000 in the last five years almost exclusively through small donations.


Admission is $6 and action tips off at 11:30 a.m. and coincides with Western’s Alumni Night, welcoming back Western alums to see the latest edition of the team. At 11:30, Waynesboro’s junior varsity squad plays Western’s JV team, then R.E. Lee, coached by former Western assistant and Monticello head coach Josh McElheny will take on Charlottesville at 1:30. Following that at 3:30 p.m., Covenant will take on Waynesboro and then at 5:30 p.m., Faith Christian will lock up with Western Albemarle.