As a part of the IHSA Do What’s Right! Sportsmanship Program
, member school personnel and licensed IHSA officials have the ability to recognize acts of exemplary sportsmanship and integrity that occur in IHSA events throughout the school year via the Sport A Winning Attitude Report (SAWA). Those who are recognized receive a special certificate from the IHSA and select SAWAs are featured here on the IHSAState
The SAWA Report below on the events that occurred on Senior Night for the boys' basketball team at Altamont earlier this winter was submitted by an IHSA basketball official:
Brandon Hanson (above and right), a senior and team manager for Altamont basketball for all four years, had a pediatric stroke early in his life and has been unable to fully participate in school athletics. On February 18, at practice Coach John Niebrugge and the team surprised Brandon with a uniform and told him that he will get to play in his first game on Senior Night the next night. With about 1:30 to go in the 4th quarter Coach Niebrugge called a timeout and Brandon checked into the game for the first time in his career. The crowd erupted into chants of "Brandon! Brandon!" and the entire student fan section and many fans changed into purple shirts (the color for pediatric stroke awareness). I also want to commend the Windsor/Stew-Stras Hatchets for their incredible act of sportsmanship as well! This was only a seven-point contest at the time and WSS could very easily have kept trying to win. But they let Brandon have his shining moment on senior night. They allowed him to get 3 great shooting opportunities in the final minute of the game. Altamont went on to win 69-64, but that outcome won't be remembered in a year. What will be remembered forever, by Brandon and his family, the players, the coaches, and the fans was this incredibly kind act of sportsmanship.