Pauls Valley, OK, Pauls Valley Democrat

March 18, 2013

Donkey ball to stop in Paoli

Ezra Mann
Pauls Valley Democrat — There are plenty of unique ways small towns offer their residents entertainment; then there are some occasions where description simply can’t quite equal being there.

One such opportunity will be heading to the Paoli High School gymnasium on Friday, March 22 at 7 p.m. The event is the Donkey Basketball Show.

Set up as a fundraiser to help pay for items like student awards throughout the year, the games will be something both for the community to enjoy and a chance for students to face off against faculty in friendly competition.

“Basically what they do is they travel all over the United States and there is a ball and there are rules,” said PHS principal David Morris, adding how the group, Buckeye Donkey Ball Donkeys, from Ohio actually brings real donkeys that tour the country and people actually sit on them to play.

“It’s always been a good fundraiser.”

As Morris can attest from having seen it offered at some of the previous schools he’s taught at, the event is quick to win fans over from the comedy alone as each of the donkeys perform certain tricks with trainers always nearby.

Those 16 or older at the high school each will have a chance to play in what will be a tournament style setup where seniors, juniors and a mix of the rest will see how well they can shoot while on the backs of the animals.

Morris noted how he doesn’t have to worry about there being a big mess left behind because the animals are trained to go outside for bathroom breaks and will not damage the floor since they wear special rubber shoes.

During the game players can get off of the donkeys to pick up the ball, but all shooting or passing has to take place while riding.

“They’ll have 10 donkeys at a time out there,” said Morris. “The older people can sit back and laugh at the younger people for getting on donkeys.”

In between games those 12 years of age or younger will have a chance to ride the donkeys for free and during one of the intermissions, people can also bid for the right to put a pie in the face of Pug football coach Vince Fulks.

It was something that he agreed to in the past year and while a percentage of ticket sales go to the donkey handlers, Morris has seen in the past how it can mean a good bit of money for a school.

Anyone who feels like heading over to Paoli is welcomed to buy tickets, which will be $6 in advance and $8 at the gate with Morris willing to set up delivery of tickets to other places in Garvin County if one can’t make it to the school during their normal hours.

The concession stand will also sell food and drinks to those in attendance and the event is expected to last about a couple of hours.

“It’s good clean fun… if you haven’t seen a donkey basketball game you need to go,” said Morris. “I’m telling you it’s comical.”

For more information contact the school at 405-484-7336.