Basketball players across the county drove to the hoop on Martin Luther King Jr. Day to raise funds and food donations for the Community Action Agency of Delaware County, the county’s anti-poverty agency that helps families and individuals to move toward self-sufficiency.
“This was a great initiative that involves our youth in Delaware County, and benefits people in need, which are goals that embody the spirit of Martin Luther King Jr.,” said David J. White, councilman of Delaware County. “Dr. King was committed to justice, to serving others and to ending poverty and this event, being held on a Day of Service in his honor, is a wonderful example of how our youth, our educational institutions and our communities can make a difference in people’s lives.”
Called “Hoops From the Heart,” the basketball clinic was started in 2002 on MLK Day by Haverford College women’s basketball coach Bobbi Morgan. The initiative has since raised $50,000 for Community Action Agency (CAADC) programs that serve low-income residents in Delaware County.
“We started it to try to teach our kids to give back to their own community, and so we wanted to make sure the money went to an organization locally,” Morgan said. “We connected with the Community Action Agency of Delaware County. They do amazing things for people in our own communities, and it’s not just the very poor. When families go through tough times they are there to help. It has really grown, and we now have clinics on both ends of the Main Line, with Haverford and Cabrini and throughout Delaware County as well.’’
The five basketball clinics were held at Cabrini College in Radnor, Haverford College in Haverford, Neumann University in Aston, Widener University in Chester and Springfield High School.
The men’s and women’s basketball teams at each school conducted the clinics, which were open to boys and girls in grades one through eight. Each athlete was also asked to donate a non-perishable food item.
“We love running the clinic; it was so much fun to be able to share some of our knowledge of basketball with the next generation of younger kids — especially since it doesn’t seem like too long ago that we were there ourselves,” said Victoria Sobocinski, Haverford College junior guard and co-captain. “We have had some of the same kids come back year after year. They share our love for the game, so it is truly a joy to be able to play with them for the day.”
All of the proceeds from the five clinics will go to the CAADC, which provides services to needy families in our own communities. In addition to operating shelters and day care facilities for individuals and families, the CAADC also provides many vital services, including welfare-to-work programs and food and fuel assistance.
We have been involved from the beginning,” said Edward Coleman CAADC CEO. “This event symbolizes the true spirit of Dr. King. It provides an opportunity to celebrate Dr King’s memory and promote his vision. It also provides great exposure to the need for our services and is an important fundraising tool to assist us with our work.”