Grade 12 students Jourdyne Mason

Grade 12 students Jourdyne Mason

J. L. Crowe hosts Hoops for Hearts

Biggest basketball tournament tips off on Tuesday.

It’s amazing what a group of students can come up with after bouncing a few ideas around.

J. L. Crowe’s leadership class is in the process of organizing the largest basketball event ever to hit the hard court in the Silver City.

The Heart and Stroke Foundation’s Hoops for Hearts is a 3-on-3 in-school fundraising basketball program.

The Foundation enlists schools and  students to  organize the tournament and raise funds for the charity.

So far  over half of the 800 student population at Crowe has signed up to play on a four-person team  and help raise money for the Heart and Stroke Foundation.

“It’s a huge undertaking,” said leadership teacher Terry Jones.

The class formerly organized the Heat in the Street 3 on 3 basketball competition at Silver City Days for a number of years, but with so much going on it was getting increasingly more difficult to attract participants.

“When we reflected on the year, one of them said, ‘Why don’t we do something like the Hoops for Heart thing,’ so that was when the idea was born to have a school basketball tournament and get the whole school involved,” said Jones.

The driving forces behind the initiative are Grade 12 students Bethany Yorston, Tessa Rieberger, and Jourdyne Mason.

The trio has convinced over 400 students to get involved as players and volunteers, with a participant entry fee of $10 going to the Foundation.

“Everyone I think is impacted by strokes or heart attacks with someone in their life,” said Rieberger. “So it is definitely a worthy cause.”

Over 100 teams will take to 40 hoops set up in the gym, school parking lots, and the Willie Krause Field House.

“I think it’s kind of a cool thing this year that it’s taking place in the school, it’s not as scary for the Grade 8’s,” said Yorston.

Younger players were often intimidated at the notion of playing in front of the community in Heat in the Street during Silver City Days.

“We definitely have more teams now than we ever had with Heat in the Street,” added Mason.

Teams are split into the Grade 8’s, 9 and 10’s, and 11 and 12’s, and further bracketed into competitive, recreational, and mixed categories. Like the NCAA basketball tournament, each bracket comes down to exciting final four match-ups.

Prizes will be awarded to the winners, and for best team name, best uniform, most money raised, and the longest shot decided in a shooting competition.

An energetic group of about 50 student volunteers will referee games, keep score and help out with the barbecue and refreshments.

The cooperative effort between the organizers, students, and teachers is indeed impressive. So much so, the school is hoping to raise up to $10,000.

Organizers encourage the community to come out, watch some of the action, and donate generously to the Heart and Stroke Foundation to help them reach their goal, says Jones.

“Our goal and mission statement is to promote an active and healthy lifestyle, to raise awareness for heart disease, to raise funds, and to have a really fun cultural activity here at school.”

While logistics and planning has seen a few bumps on the way, Jones and the leadership class hope this becomes an annual Crowe event, that promotes a great cause and galvanizes school spirit.

“We’re blazing our own trail,” said Yorston. “At least that is what it feels like.”

One that they hope becomes a favourite Crowe tradition.

Funds raised support vital research that leads to breakthrough medical advances, social change, and health information.

The tip off for J. L. Crowe’s Hoops for Hearts is at 10:30 a.m. on Tuesday and goes to about 2:30 p.m.  The public is invited.

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