Mountain West Conference Tournament Helps the Needy - KTVN Channel 2 - Reno Tahoe News Weather, Video -

Mountain West Conference Tournament Helps the Needy

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It's all about basketball, at the Thomas & Mack Center in Las Vegas, with teams hoping to bring their schools a championship. But there's a lot going on off the court, too. And it's putting smiles on a lot of kids' faces.

The Nevada band and cheerleaders are always up for a good competition with rival schools. But today -- they're working together.

"It's pretty cool because as much as we are rivals, we all do the same thing. We all support our teams. So, it's kind of fun to get to know them," says Nevada cheerleader Bri Kaszupski.

Nevada band member Joseph Semel adds, "We're actually all really good friends. We'll hang out with each other. We'll say hi to each other. We'll make friends with new people. It's just a great time."

They're helping to put shoes on the feet of more than 400 underprivileged kids - from kindergarten to fifth grade.

"We're just coming out for a great cause. Just to have the opportunity to be a part of something like this is an honor for everybody who is a part of it," says Nevada band member Brittany Dunn.

And these elementary school kids were excited to show off some of their stuff.

"I got two white shirts, two posters, and a new backpack. And some shoes. Green," says six-year-old Ariyana Holmes.

This is the first pair of new shoes some of these kids have ever had.

Donated by Goodie Two Shoes -- a non-profit getting some help from the Mountain West Conference and Wells Fargo.

"The excitement on these kids' faces, the new kicks are so sweet, and the backpacks. They're just really excited to be here and I think it's really great that they get these shoes and backpacks and the shirts, and get to go to the game. I think it's really neat," says cheerleader Alexis Goree.

The kids also go to meet the cheerleaders and hang out with some of the mascots. Everyone left with a smile.

"Just underprivileged people get shoes and stuff like that is great. I love playing in the band and helping out anyway I can. It's just fun to do," says Semel.

Those white t-shirts that the kids were getting had the logos of the different teams from the Mountain West. And while we are in UNLV territory, most of the kids I saw were actually choosing Wolf Pack shirts. The conference tournament goes all week long.

Goodie Two Shoes doesn't just make these donations during the Mountain West Tournament. They work year-round to give socks and shoes to underprivileged kids in Clark County.

For more information on Goodie Two Shoes, and the Mountain West conference, go to http://www.themw.com/#!/

The #3 Nevada women's basketball team will play #6 San Diego State at 8:30pm on the Mountain West Network.

Then on Thursday at 8:30pm, the #3 Nevada men's basketball team will play the Boise State/San Jose State winner. You can watch that game on the CBS Sports Network.

Written by Paul Nelson 

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