Making Spirits Bright at Pivot
Mike Muscala’s hands were glued to the glitter pen. With intense concentration, he drew an outline of a Christmas tree onto a classic red stocking. From the neighboring table, Devon Hall caught a glimpse of the decorative foliage his teammate created and decided upon the same garnish for his stocking as well. Before he knew it, Hall’s Christmas tree drawing was sought out by other teenagers surrounding him at the table.
This was the type of holiday cheer that the Thunder spread throughout the halls of Pivot, an organization dedicated to housing and filling the needs of youth with nowhere to go. Instead of thinking about the pressures surrounding their lives, for at least an hour, focus for the teenagers at Pivot was shifted to who could make the coolest Christmas stocking. The change of pace was felt for not only the players but the teenagers at the table.
“It was nice just to connect with them we talked a little bit of hoops, but it was rewarding just to interact with them,” said Muscala. “It’s that time of the year, coming together and realizing there’s so much more than basketball but to have this outreach through basketball is special to me.”
The conversations stayed on basketball for only a brief minute before switching to topics like deep sea fishing, national geographic cinematography and a debate over who should be considered the best musician of all time. For Devon Hall, Drake seemed like the logical answer but for the youth at his table, the correct answer was Kendrick Lamar and J. Cole. For Mike Muscala, Wham! was the band of choice.
“It’s the holidays, you want to try to see smiles on everyone’s face so coming here and being able to talk with these kids, relate with them, have conversations, just sit back and honestly just relax and get some crafts going, it was fun,” said Hall.