Ward Melville rallies around Kollin McDonald, playing just days after mother's death

Sometimes, wins and losses just don't matter. In the highly competitive world of boys basketball, it's a concept that's hard to digest. But not for Ward Melville. When one of their own experienced the greatest of losses, they came together like only teams can.

Senior Kollin McDonald lost his mother, Mary McDonald, to cancer earlier this week, coach Tom Femminella said. The team attended the wake Wednesday night.

"It's been emotional for the kids," Femminella said. "It's one of those things that you hope you never have to go though."

The funeral was Thursday morning. Thursday night, McDonald informed Femminella that he wanted to play in Friday's game.

"We were unsure about whether or not he was going to come back. We were so excited to have him back," Femminella said. "We could have cared less about the win. We just wanted to get him back to normalcy."

McDonald was given the start and grabbed two rebounds in the opening minutes. Ward Melville won the game, topping Longwood 50-40. Following the win, the team gave McDonald the game ball.

"He showed a lot of strength and lot of resolve to go through something like that," Femminella said. "He inspired us. When you get someone like that who is that committed to the team, that's something."

And, in the hardest of times, McDonald's team showed that they are completely committed to him.

advertisement | advertise on newsday

advertisement | advertise on newsday