Former Darby and Kimmons students play ‘Old skool’

by The City Wire staff ([email protected]) 162 views 


story and photos by Joel Rafkin
[email protected]

They may be old(er) but they got game!

About 70 alumni from Darby and Kimmons junior high schools took to the basketball court on Saturday at Kaundart Fieldhouse on the Northside High School campus to participate in the second annual Darby Vs. Kimmons Alumni Games.

There were three teams — the women (all ages), men (ages 21-33) and old skool men (ages 36-52). The men played a regulation 4-quarter game however the women’s quarters lasted only 10 minutes instead of the regular 12 minutes. The final scores are: women Kimmons 28, Darby 26; men Kimmons 68, Darby 60; old skool men Kimmons 55, Darby 62.

A $10 entry fee per person was required to play and admission to the event was $5. T-shirts and concessions were also sold to raise money. Proceeds from the event will help fund sports programs at Darby and Kimmons and also the Tru Shine mentoring program founded by alumni games co-coordinator Lee Prince, a 1997 Kimmons alumnus. The non-profit mentoring program was started this year and helps at-risk children ages 8 to 18 by providing a positive adult role model, Prince said.

Last year, the alumni games was able to donate $1,000 to each of the two schools and expects to contribute about the same amount this year after all the expenses related to the event are paid. Prince said the donation enabled Darby students to participate in summer league basketball — a first in the school’s history.

The games began when alumni who shared a friendly competitive rivalry approached Glenn Brewer, a 1981 Darby alumnus, with the idea that there should be a basketball game between the two schools. Brewer organized the event with the goal of reinvigorating the athletic programs in Kimmons and Darby schools.

There has been a long-time competitive slump in Darby’s sports programs according to Prince and seeing the alumni play with pride hopefully will instill a desire for that pride in the current student body.

"We were able to shine a little bit of light on your Darby and Kimmons coaches because ultimately we want to bring that morale and that team spirit to get kids to want to participate more in those junior highs. In turn, it builds Northside up," Prince said.

"We just feel like this is something that these junior highs need; they need a spark and this does it," Prince added.

"We hope to be able to do a lot more for the entire program as we continue to grow this and build this," said  Brewer.

The event now funds the basketball programs but Brewer would like it fund other extra curricular activities and eventually grow to fund other Fort Smith schools.

Following the basketball games, a party was held at the Fort Smith Convention Center from 9 p.m to 1 a.m. with music and adult beverages. This annual event, the Saturday after Thanksgiving, is like a junior high reunion with a perk that benefits a good cause.