SPOKANE, Wash.--A group of children playing in Hoopfest 2014 were playing for two young girls close to their hearts, one of which died in a recent car wreck along Interstate 90.
Ayla James, 10, was hurt in a horrible crash in May of 2014 alongside her ten-year-old friend Gracie Snider. Snider was killed in the crash. James continued to recover at a Seattle hospital in June.
READ: 10-year-old Evergreen elem. student conscious and recovering after wreck
The Hoopfest team was playing in honor of the girls. Jazmine McGee, 10, did not know the girls well but said she was playing because James and Snider could not. McGee was a former soccer teammate of the two girls. She named her Hoopfest team “For Gracie and Ayla” in order to show their families that she cared.
McGee had played in Hoopfest for three years, but 2014 was her first time playing for someone.
READ: Cooper Elem. students honor crash victim with Gracie Day
“I felt really bad because they can't play anymore,” said McGee.
McGee recruited her brother and a couple of their friends to make up a team. They made shirts in honor of the young girls so that everyone at Hoopfest would know why they were playing.
"After every game, like we win or tie or something, she'll do a cartwheel and then they'll do the splits. I'm working on that for her,” said McGee.
The team’s first game was set for 9:30 a.m. Saturday.