Frontenac Secondary School will hold its second annual alumni basketball game in support of youth mental health services Friday at 7 p.m.
The game will be played as the final contest of a tripleheader that will begin at 3:30 with the regularly scheduled Kingston Area Secondary Schools Athletic Association junior game between the Falcons and the Sydenham Golden Eagles. The senior game between Frontenac and Sydenham will commence at 5 o’clock.
The game was initiated last year by Frontenac alumnus and former Queen’s Golden Gaels star Mitch Leger, and began as a game between old boys and current Falcons. Friday’s alumni game will be played by ex-Falcons whose time at the school dates back several years.
Last year’s event raised $1,400 for the local Youth Diversion program, to provide support for young people to start speaking about and addressing their mental health. This year’s game, being supported, as it was last year, by the Bell Let’s Talk program, will raise money for the addiction and mental health services provided by Kingston Frontenac and Lennox Addington Public Health.
Admission is free of charge. Money will be raised through the sale of raffle tickets for several prizes donated by businesses, including gift certificates from a number of local restaurants, an iPad donated by Let’s Talk, a signed Demar Derozan all-star game jersey and tickets to the upcoming performance by the Harlem Globetrotters at the Rogers K-Rock Centre.
The most significant part of last year’s game, Falcons coach Suche James wrote, in an email, was Leger speaking at halftime about his own mental health path, and how important it is to speak about it and address that part of your health as much as the physical part.
“He was one of the best athletes to come out of Frontenac,” James wrote. “He played basketball at Queen's and professionally in Europe. (To hear) him speaking about his struggles was a powerful moment.
“Over time we hope to continue to get the message out that it is okay for anyone to talk to someone about their mental health, and to raise funds for organizations that help students do that.”