SPRINGFIELD, Mass. (WGGB) –It’s probably as competitive as a game of college ball. The Hoops for Heroes tournament invites servicemen, policemen, sheriffs, the U.S. Coast Guard and the U.S. Airforce, to play basketball for a good cause. They played today at Springfield College to benefit the Massachusetts Special Olympics. “About three years ago, the sheriff’s department and the Basketball Hall of Fame had a meeting and wanted to do something that involved the military and law enforcement. It’s a nice event for everybody to get together in a competitive nature and to give back to a charity. Many of our law enforcement officers are involved with special Olympics Massachusetts so it’s a very natural fit” said John Evon, event organizer from the Hampden County Sheriff’s Department.
Only the best of the best are selected from New England and New York for the 16 team tournament. Some say it was a no brainer when they were asked to participate.
“The cause is the easy thing. In the air force we love to support great missions and the Special Olympics has a great mission. In our unit we have a few special needs children, so, you know, it hits home to us” said Christian Evans with the U.S. Air Force. “We heard about it, we knew the money was going for a great cause. So we were more than happy to come out here and play against these guys” chimed Jamal Lyons, Corrections Officer with the Suffolk County Sheriff’s Department.
The event kicks off the Basketball hall of Fame Enshrinement Ceremony. Winners of the tourney get 12 tickets to the event next month. The final four has already been announced its U.S. Airforce, Suffolk County Sherrifs, CT state police, and Boston police.
They’ll play for the championship tomorrow at the Hall of Fame.
“Hoops for Heroes” expects to raise $20,000 over the weekend.