This weekend, the sporting world unites for the first ever HoopsAid, a charity basket event which is to be held at London’s Copper Box Arena on Sunday 15th September.
Organised by Lance Haggith, whose son Reiss plays for the Riders, the aim of HoopsAid is to demonstrate the fun nature, accessibility and inclusion that sport provides; whilst raising funds for Sports Traider, a charity which offers young people the support, equipment and kit required to get into sport.
Celebrities from sport and beyond, in addition to past and present players in the British Basketball League (BBL) and National Basketball Association (NBA), Team GB, the GB Paralympics Team and the Battle Back are all coming together to play an exhibition game, whilst there will also be a wheelchair basketball game.
It is intended that HoopsAid will go on to take place every two years, alternating between that of the football equivalent, SoccerAid.
Already confirmed as participating in the event are Phillips Idowu, Ipswich Town manager Mick McCarthy, Martin Offiah, Made in Chelsea’s Hugo Taylor, boxer David Haye, NBA star Marcus Camby and former EastEnders actress Louisa Lytton.
One player involved in this weekend’s event is Leicester Riders’ Anthony Rowe, who is delighted to offer his support to the cause.
“It’s great and very exciting. It’s brand-new for this year, so it’s the first time that we have done something like this, but the potential for HoopsAid is absolutely incredible,” he said.
“There’s a great comparison for the same event in football, SoccerAid, which has been very successful over the time that it’s taken place. Lance Haggith certainly doesn’t lack passion and when he does something, he does it well. It’s great to see so many people getting involved. It’s for a great cause too; to create a level playing field for people who are disadvantaged and show people that everybody can play sport.
“It’s great and for me, I’m privileged to be a part of it. Lance is closely linked with the Leicester Riders and he comes to some of the games, he asked if I wanted to be a part of it and I jumped at the opportunity. It’s something that I’m delighted to be a part of and I’d love to be part of its growth. Charity games are always fun and not as competitive as normal games, so it’s great for fans to see. Even if you don’t make it as a professional basketball player, you can still play basketball and this event shows that fun side of the game.”
Tickets for the event are available now from Ticketmaster by CLICKING HERE, with the headline game tipping off at 1:00pm.