The 5th Annual Hoop for Hope brought together the Howard and D.C. community last Saturday through the love of basketball while advocating and promoting the awareness of lung cancer. 

Through vendors, cyphers, raffles, donations, dunk contests and workout sessions by Project Snatched LLC and Pretty Girls Sweat, Hoop for Hope continues to give a hands-on experience to educate athletes on how to prevent and provide treatment for different life-threatening illnesses each year.  

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First basketball game of the tournament.
First basketball game of the tournament.

For cancer to be the second leading cause of death in the nation and for D.C. to have one of the highest cancer mortality rates that remain significantly high in the African American community, Hoop for Hope became an event to help recognize and try to resolve the issue.

Founders and Howard alumni, Kiera “KB” Thomas and Ayokunle “Ayo” Amoo established Hoop for Hope in 2011 during their sophomore year. Amoo claims that the lack of camaraderie within Howard and the D.C. community prompted him to launch Hoop for Hope:

“It is a huge opportunity to impact people and bridge the gap between college and city to learn about awareness and health to prevent cancer.”

In addition to raising awareness, donations were a big ordeal in order to provide treatment for cancer patients. 

Over the past few years donations were raised in the hundreds, but through fundraising activities, this year’s aim was to break the barrier and reach a minimum of $1000 dollars for a $10,000 dollar goal while allowing the event to be memorable and educational.

Throughout the weeks of preparation that led up to the tournament, first-time volunteers had their own perspective of Hoop for Hope’s initiative.

Sophomore, Isaiah Parkes elaborates on his initial thoughts:

“I would like to give thanks to Ayo and KB for giving me an opportunity that I enjoyed volunteering for.”

Everybody that attended simultaneously enjoyed themselves while supporting lung cancer. Sophomore, Ruth Adewale reflects:

“Hoop for Hope impacted the community by bringing people together and educating them on the importance of cancer and how it affects our community. I would appreciate if KB and Ayo continued their grind because I can envision the potential of this event and would like to volunteer again.”

From the support of Hoop for Hope’s volunteers and KB and Ayo’s dedication and effort to produce an annual three-on-three basketball tournament, Hoop for Hope 2017 geared towards childhood cancer is one to look forward to. More information and updates about next year can be found here.