MAAC championship basketball is heading back to Springfield next month.
Last year was the first time the Metro Atlantic Basketball Conference held its men’s and women’s championships in Springfield. This year, the MAAC is partnering with The Jimmy Fund to support the Dana Farber Cancer Institute. A portion of every ticket sold will benefit The Jimmy Fund.
MAAC Commissioner Rich Ensor says the partnership more than raising money. It’s also getting young people involved. He says, “We’re especially excited about the ability to get our student athletes involved on campuses because they see that as the growth of The Jimmy Fund to bring those students and their awareness and their hard efforts into the organization. The student athlete advisory committees that are supporting us in the MAAC are the leaders on our campus. They’re not only our best athletes, but our best students. “
Jim Vinick is a longtime member of the Jimmy Fund Council of Western Mass. He’s also a trustee with the Basketball Hall of Fame. He says the MAAC partnership will help spread the word of the work being done at Dana Farber. Vinick says, “”When you start to get a group like the MAAC group involved, they spread their wings pretty good these kids. I know they’ve already been down to Dana Farber and you get a young group of people enthusiastic about something, particularly with the number one research of cancer in the world, it begins to spread very well throughout the country.”
The MAAC Basketball Championships run from March 7th to the 11th at the MassMutual Center. As part of the partnership, the MAAC will also run a text to give campaign. Fans can text “JIMMY” to 22122 to contribute $5 to The Jimmy Fund. And during the championships, fans will be encouraged to help fill a giant Jimmy Fund canister.