When walking Galveston County’s extensive sports beat, there are often events to cover that don’t seem too thrilling on paper, but often leave me walking away from them feeling glad I can do something to draw attention to the people behind them.

On Friday, I visited the Friendswood tennis courts as members of the high school team and a group of volunteers prepared to begin a nonstop 48-hour fundraiser for the team.

For Saturday, it was off to Galveston Island’s Wright Cuney Park to take in part of a 10-hour basketball shootout, where alumni teams squared off while offering free school supplies, snacks and entertainment to the local community.

At first glance, the differences between the two scenes were about as disparate as can be within the 379 square miles of land that make up this county.

After experiencing these events, though, they’re pretty similar when it comes down to it. Behind them both are great people doing great things without expecting anything in return.

As an investment, pledging sponsorships for the Friendswood event is likely not one that will be a huge winner monetarily for the local businesses. It’s simply the type of support a member of a small community extends to those who need it. As with the group of volunteers overseeing the tennis marathon, the support is offered without hesitation.

The desire to help one’s community is, fortunately for future generations, a contagious condition. While at the shootout, a player on the La Marque alumni team said the event has inspired him to offer his community the same type of uplift the basketball-based event has brought to Galveston.

The recent University of North Texas master’s degree graduate lives in the big city of Dallas but said he wants to return to La Marque, armed with new knowledge and experiences, as soon as possible, to offer help and to better his hometown.

It’s this type of philanthropic spirit that keeps our small communities going. Every so often, I’m lucky enough to witness it first-hand because sports is somehow involved.

James LaCombe is the Sports Editor of The Daily News. Contact him at 409-683-5242 or james.lacombe@galvnews.com.

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