The 15th Annual Days Basketball Game for Charity
James Reynolds and Alison Sweeney
On Sunday, June 5th, James Reynolds (Abe, DAYS), as the final event for the Days Fan Weekend, hosted his 15th annual charity basketball game at South Pasadena High School in California. The proceeds from the game will benefit the Pasadena Ronald McDonald House, which provides inexpensive (and often free) accommodations for out of town families whose children are patients in near by medical facilities.
The teams consisted of several Days of our Lives cast members and were coached by James Reynolds and Alison Sweeny (Sami). Reynolds’ team included Bryan Dattilo (Lucas), Jed Reynolds (James’ son), Eric Winter (Rex), Austin Peck (Austin), Heather Lindell (Jan), Patrika Darbo (Nancy), Kyle Lowder (Brady), and Daphne Bloomer (Eugenia). Sweeney’s team included Kyle Brandt (Philip), Arianne Zucker (Nicole), Rhasaan Orange (Tek), Brody Hutzler (Patrick), Jason Cook (Shawn Douglas), and Christopher Gerse (Will). In addition to the DAYS cast, a few of Reynolds’ friends rounded out the teams.
The festivities opened with Farah Fath (Mimi), as the color commentator, introducing each player. Of course, she gave each of her co-stars a personalized introduction. Fath’s on-screen brother’s went something like this, “This man wouldn’t have a job if it weren’t for me. Ladies and gentlemen, Brody Hutzler.” And for Arianne Zucker, “If I had legs like hers, I would probably be playing too!”
Other cast members of Days came for moral support. Martha Madison (Belle) declined the offer to play, but came to cheer on her cast mates. She admitted that she “opted out because I would not be an asset to either team!” Nadia Bjorlin (Chloe) and Frank Parker (Grandpa Shawn) could also be seen in the stands showing their support.
Even though there were some decent players on the court, it was mostly just a scrappy game of hoops. There were a lot of flailing bodies, players knocking each other over and everyone taking crazy shots. However, Reynolds’ son Jed did make a couple three pointers and Kyle Brandt can even jump high enough to grab the rim!
The guys were pretty competitive, as you can imagine, preferring to take a shot themselves rather than pass to an open teammate. Especially if that teammate was a girl! But, in their defense, with the one exception of Arianne Zucker, the girls were not that athletic. And even though Zuker seemed to have skills, there was too much testosterone flying around for her to prove it!
At half time, the fans got a chance to participate in the activities, as well. The first activity consisted of two fans competing in a free-throw contest. Of course, being a charity event, they both walked away with prizes. The next event enabled fans to be teamed up with Arianne Zucker and Austin Peck. Zuker was finally able to show off some of those aforementioned skills by scoring more points than the very surprised Austin Peck.
Next, Martha Madison and Patrika Darbo demonstrated their lack of skills by attempting to shoot at half court. They both resorted to a granny shot (thrown from between their legs) while moving closer and closer to the basket. Although they came close, no cigar!
On a more emotional note, one fan was brought on to the court and honored for having spent the last year in Afghanistan. While she was away, her family taped every episode of DAYS for her to watch when she came home! As a reward for her loyalty to the show, she spent the rest of the game on the bench with James Reynolds and his team.
The second half began with Sweeney’s team taking a commanding lead. But by the end of that half, Reynolds’ team seemed to be making a come back, evidenced only by the scoreboard. The refs apparently felt bad for his team and tried to help them out. One ref even scored a couple of points for them! The highlight (or lowlight, depending on how you look at it) was when a ref pulled Nadia Bjorlin out of the stands, and on to the free throw line. He allowed her four shots, the first two would be worth ten points, while the second two would be worth five. She kicked off her heels and scored fifteen points for Reynolds’ team! But sadly, even this wasn’t enough as Sweeney’s team beat them 53-50.
After the game, the fans had the opportunity to take pictures, get autographs, and talk with the stars. As Martha Madison said, these events “give us a chance to mingle with the fans and sort of let them know we’re other people.”
Getting a chance to speak with their favorite actor can also let the fans in on some inside information. Maybe even get a glimpse into the future of their favorite couple! Soapdom was lucky enough to get Martha Madison and Farah Fath to do just that.
As Fath told Soapdom, Mimi will face an emotional summer. “With Eric Winter (Rex) leaving, you can probably imagine there’s gonna be a breakup.” Which means the details of her abortion will probably come to light. Mimi will now have to deal with “how to get over the love of her life and [him leaving].” His departure will impact the actress just as much as her onscreen persona. When asked just how much it will affect her, Fath replied, “Oh my god, I’m devastated! I mean he’s my best friend and it’s been a dream to work with [him]. It’s gonna make work kind of weird at first, but hopefully I’ll be able to move on, just like Mimi will.”
As for Madidon, and her alter ego Belle, she told us, “They will continue with the triangle I think, but it’s going to be a completely different dynamic and I’m excited about it. It’s not about pity or guilt…she’s having a hard time deciding who she wants to be with. It’s no longer, he loves her, but she loves him. It’s they both love her and she loves both of them. It’s sort of a coming of age story.”
Ultimately, it doesn’t matter if Belle ends up with Shawn or Phillip, or if Mimi never gets over Rex. The fans will faithfully watch these stories unfold no matter what the outcome. And events like these are just one way for the actors to show their appreciation to their very dedicated fans, even if they all can’t sink a free throw.
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