The Madison Central School varsity boys basketball players had become quite the superstars to many Madison elementary students.

“After noticing this, I decided to run with an idea,” said Tricia Coon, who works at the school.

Coon decided to make it a positive experience for these kids – both big and small. She arranged for the players to stay after school from 3 to 4 p.m. Thursday, March 1, for a “Meet and Greet.”

“I didn’t think it was going to be this big,” said Coon. “But we had 45 elementary students from K-sixth stay after school for it and the gym was full of excitement!”

The youngsters divided into class age groups with every student having their own basketball to use. The students showed off their skills to the varsity players. Games of PIG, Knockout and a 3-point contest were played.

“The students were great,” said senior Spencer Haviland, a member of the team.

“This is awesome to see all of these kids here!” added teammate Alex Cotter, also a senior.

The students lined up near the end of the shooting to get player autographs. Pictures were provided to all students to get their favorite player’s, as well as other members of the team, autographs.

“This was so special to see the kids’ faces meeting these ‘high school icons,’” concluded Coon who also provided photos, T-shirts, sunglasses as prizes with snacks to all the kids and players who attended.

“These guys played at O.C.C. and are going to the Syracuse Dome!” said fifth-grader Jacob Burns. “I want to be just like them.”

Editor’s Note: The team saw its season come to a disappointing end Saturday, March 3, with a 54-53 loss to McGraw in the Class D Championship round at the Carrier Dome in Syracuse. The Devils were led by Spencer Haviland with 14 points, while Sam Matteson added 14 and Alex Cotter contributed 13.