Congratulations to all the high school basketball players, parents and staff who made this such a spectacular tournament! It has been an exciting season for me as a Nokomis alum, but more important than trophies is the way it has brought communities together, especially after the challenges of the past few years. High school sports can teach us so much, and truly change lives for the better. A special thanks to all the boosters who see sports as a great investment in our future.

One of the important benefits of school sports relates to the top issue Maine businesses say we need to address: the high cost of health care and insurance. No one can sit on the bench on an issue this big.

We need to train star players like nurses and fill the key positions in our schools. The nutrition and fitness habits our kids learn early puts them on track for success, and we parents need to be good role models. Community programs for all ages, at places like the YMCA, are worth every penny.

Physical inactivity, obesity and diabetes cost our country hundreds of billions of dollars every year. Few things kill more Americans than heart disease and stroke. Health care, as a portion of our gross domestic product, has skyrocketed and eaten up the wage growth that should have made our paychecks bigger. Investing in school sports and health education is a slam dunk that benefits us all.

Orion Breen

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