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Literal Mismatch: Freshman Boys Basketball Plays With Different Shorts

Hartland boosters hope to raise enough money Sunday to buy matching pairs.

Basketball is a game where players and coaches look for a mismatch on the court, but the Hartland High School boys basketball program has been facing one of the fashion variety:

The freshman Eagles have been playing with different types of shorts.

"We do with what we have," said Frank Leppek, coach of the varsity team. "Some were yellow and some were blue and white."

Faced with 12-year-old uniforms, the 14 players are forced to area stores to buy replacements from local retailers as they wear out or get lost, Leppek said. One parent says it's been a problem for at least two seasons.

This year, program boosters hope to raise enough money during its annual fundraiser 2 p.m. Sunday at to buy matching shorts for the freshman team.

Cost for Sunday's 9-hole scramble is $65. Those interested in the event or donating can contact Jennifer Grabowski at 248-802-8512 or via email at garyjen@comcast.net.

The group hopes to raise $4,500 at the event — the amount raised last year. Leppek said the majority of the money goes toward the summer scrimmages to help players improve. He said the community, particularly area businesses, have helped organize the event to make it fun.

While school budget cuts didn't change the athletic budget this year, Leppek said not enough money isn't new. He said fundraising has become essential to pay for needs that range from uniforms and basketball to summer scrimmages.

Right now, the school chips in $500 to the program as well as salaries for coaches, he said. Athletes, meantime, face $175 fee to participate while the program faces at least $225 per player for new uniforms, Leppek said.

"It's something you have to do," he said.

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