MALTA — The Malta M-Ettes have produced more elite basketball talent than nearly any other program in the state, regardless of size. And on Sunday, many of the all-time greats — names like Greta Koss, Bobbi Knudsen and Linda Cummings - were at the gym running a basketball camp.
“We had two gyms going and it was absolutely fantastic,” said event organizer and former M-Ette Gretchen Boardman. “ There was high energy, there was camaraderie, there was sportsmanship. There were teams from everywhere. We had teams from Conrad to Minot, North Dakota to Joliet to Rapelje and everywhere in between.”
But it wasn’t just any camp. It was a fundraiser for one of the all-time Malta greats and former Montana Lady Griz Skyla Sisco, who is fighting late stage breast cancer.
“When her cancer came back we started talking about what we can do for a fundraiser for Skyla because we knew she needed as much help as she could get,” Boardman said. “So we asked ourselves what did Skyla give to our community. In my opinion, she gave leadership, connections to high school and elementary kids. And she helped put Malta on the map as a basketball hotbed.”
So a camp it was. Boardman and her sister Kaydee, along with their father Fuzz Carnahan and other teammates reached out to former Malta stars who either had a connection to Skyla or played basketball in college. And it didn’t take much convincing to get plenty of M-Ette legends on board.
"I was kind of surprised how many were willing, not because of what was going on because of their location. I mean the coaches came from Helena, Joliet, obviously here in Malta,” Boardman said. "We even have a Malta M-Ette that's now a coach in Glasgow. And she came back and we talked about that just the rivalry. But yet you still just bleed blue.”
Skyla wasn’t able to attend the event. She just finished treatment in Arizona and was en route back to Missoula. But Boardman and her fellow coaches made sure she felt the love.
“We were sending her pictures and she would write back telling us she was so grateful, blessed and humbled,” Boardman said.
The event attracted over 200 attendees and raised over $10k, which is a testament to how much Sisco means to the Hi-Line.
“We wanted to get the most money for her so she doesn’t have expenses,” Boardman said. “And our community just stepped up. Every single group we talked to simply asked us how much we needed and offered donations. And it’s all because of who Skyla really is. It’s the character, the personality, the competitiveness and the drive that girl has. And that’s why she’s still winning.”
If you’d like to support Skyla’s fight, you can send donations to the Skyla Sisco Medical Fund at PO Box 184, Malta, MT 59538.