Western students host basketball tourney

Prizes include four Toronto Raptors tickets, gift certificates

Tuesday, April 7th, 2009

Western student Rahul Sharma combined his love of basketball with his passion for helping others and created a charity basketball tournament with friends Raj Bhayana, Sachin Gupta, Rajnee Singh, Rohin Patel and Anshul Ruparell.

The Hoop Dreams 3-on-3 Charity Basketball Tournament, which will be held this Saturday, Jan. 19 at A.B. Lucas Secondary School, will raise money to help support two initiatives of the UWO Rotaract club.

“One of them is a camp for kids afflicted with juvenile diabetes that runs in the spring here in London,” Sharma said. “The second cause is a trip to Tanzania that’s happening this summer.

“We will work on a few different projects there: malaria work, building wells for water quality and availability ... [and] working in an all-girls school.”

Although the tournament supports the UWO Rotaract Club, Sharma said that the charity event has also gained the support of the Hindu Students Association.

“This is just a couple of students coming together to do something we are passionate about,” he said.

The tournament, featuring around 32 teams and over 130 participants, is a not-for profit event. Each team that enters will pay $60 or $70 depending on the team’s size.

Saturday’s event will begin with round-robin play, and the top finishers in each division will continue on to the playoff rounds.

“We have two skill divisions,” Sharma said. “Really good basketball players can go in the competitive division and then high school students, for example, can play in the recreational division. We have trophies for first place in both divisions.”

Along with supporting a great cause, participants receive a T-shirt and have the chance to win some prizes.

“The prizes are huge,” Sharma said. “The grand prize is four Toronto Raptors tickets. Plus we have gift certificates.”

This is the first time the tournament has run, but Sharma is positive the idea will catch on.

“It is starting to become known,” he said. “Hopefully it grows every year.”

For more information or to participate, visit hoopdreams3on3.com

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