The day got a little brighter Friday for several local cancer patients thanks to the Murrieta Mesa JV boys basketball team.
For the second year in a row, the team visited chemotherapy patients at Southland Hematology & Oncology Center in Murrieta.
Each patient was given a goodie bag filled with games, candy, a team picture and a personalized note from a player, according to Coach Kyle Rouse.
"The kids enjoyed talking to the patients for a few minutes," Rouse told Patch. "One of the patients still wears the shirt we gave him on our visit last year, and he was there again this year so it was good to see how happy it made him."
While the Murrieta Mesa JV boys team went on Friday to defeat Murrieta Valley 58-35 in Southwestern League play, a greater sense of accomplishment came from helping others.
"We started it last year for the sole purpose of teaching the kids there are bigger things than basketball and serving our community is very important," Rouse said. "This place in particular has a special place in my heart so we thought this would be a good place to bring our young energy."
Rouse said the team would also like to start visiting a children's hospital.
"The kids seem to get a lot out of this experience."