Paradise Takes the Court

November 28, 2018

On Monday evening, Chico (Calif.) High School held a fundraiser for and hosted the girls' and boys' basketball teams from Paradise (Calif.) High School, the season opener for the players, some of whom lost their homes in the Camp Fire.

According to CBS, Fiona Roberts, a varsity player, said that since the fire, she simply wanted a distraction, and a way for her “to go and have fun” at the game.

“Everybody in Paradise went through like a life or death situation and everyone is in the same boat. To be sad about it and just like think about it all the time, it’s not going to do anything,” she said.

Sheila Craft, Roberts' coach, said she was touched by the community's resilience and willingness to help each other.

“Even though everything around them is falling apart, I want them to know that basketball is the one thing that has stayed,” she said. “It didn’t go away in the fire.”

Chico High School raised funds for Paradise, opened their campus for Paradise players to practice, and donated proceeds from the season opener to help Paradise.

“We just really want to establish our camaraderie with them and friendship with the community,” Stephen Schaefer, a Chico boys' varsity player, said.

While the girls' team lost the game 56-22 and the boys won 80-62, Roberts said she is trying to stay positive.

“I was lucky enough to have my whole family safe, all my animals were safe and I’m just trying to look at the positives,” she said.

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