February first, this past Saturday was National Freedom Day, but it was also the New Orleans Pelican’s Court of Dreams Day in the New Orleans Arena. Court of Dreams is about presenting an opportunity for local high school teams to play basketball in the New Orleans Arena on the Pelican’s court. Four Louisiana high school girls teams got to showcase their talents on the Pelican NBA hardwood Saturday. The first match-up was between two teams from across Lake Pontchartrain, Northshore High Panthers of Slidell and the Jewel Sumner Cowgirls from Kentwood. The second game featured two Jefferson Parish teams, The Lady Hurricanes of L. W. Higgins from Marrero and the Yellowjackets from Haynes Academy of Old Metairie. The games are exhibition matches and do not count for state tournament qualification. The lady athletes were seriously excited to be there and they especially enjoyed the photo op on the Pelican’s Logo at mid-court after their games. In the first game the Panthers were able to wrangle the Sumner Cowgirls and in their second encounter this season the Yellowjackets stung and buzzed past the Hurricane’s inability to muster up some catastrophic force as they did to defeat Haynes earlier this season. All teams also benefited from group ticket sales to help support their programs for the main event later that evening when the Pelicans took on the Chicago Bulls. The Pelicans won in a decisive victory over the Bulls minus one of the leagues All Star players, Derrick Rose who has been kept off the court with an injury. The Pelicans Court of Dreams is a part of their Youth Sports Program which offers a chance for fundraising and for youngsters to be inspired by the big time arena experience. What a great way to celebrate National Freedom Day for those young female athletes. They were afforded an opportunity which so few get to do, and not so long ago they would have not been able to do. Hopefully the experienced will empower them to meet the challenges they will face in the future.
February 6, 2014