BELTON- The home opener for the No. 2-ranked UMHB men’s basketball team will be a fun one.
For the second straight year, the Crusaders will host a “Toy Toss” game in the month of November, with this year’s edition set for Nov. 16. The 6:30 p.m. contest will be an exhibition between UMHB and the Fort Hood Phantom Warriors, a military team from nearby Fort Hood in Killeen.
The game was announced on Tuesday afternoon and comes a week after UMHB opens its season with three games in California.
Held as a toy drive for the McLane Children’s Hospital in Temple, the event was a grand success last season, with UMHB collecting 14 40-gallon bags of toys in a Nov. 7 game against Southwestern. All fans are encouraged to bring a toy to the game, and after UMHB makes its first basket, the toys are thrown onto the court in what proves to be a memorable sight.
There will be one main difference between last year’s Toy Toss and this year’s. The 2021-22 edition was Christmas-themed, with head coach Clif Carroll even dressing up in a Santa Claus costume to coach the game.
The 2022-23 contest theme will be “God Bless America” per the Twitter announcement from the UMHB athletics department. Fans are encouraged to wear their American pride gear for a chance to win prizes at halftime.
Admission to the game is completely free.