Bennett Joins Former Players On Hoops2o Roster

By Jerry Ratcliffe

Photo by Jon Golden

Hoops2o just got another boost in its mission to provide clean water to East Africa, by landing Virginia basketball coach Tony Bennett on its roster.

Previously, Hoops2o, an extension of the Chris Long Foundation’s “Waterboys” program, had been comprised of only players in the NFL and NBA. Bennett is the first coach to join the cause of bringing clean water to one million people.

Bennett joins UVA alums Long, Malcolm Brogdon, Joe Harris, De’Andre Hunter, Kyle Guy and Justin Anderson in the organization.

“I first heard about Hoops2o through Malcolm, when he founded the program last year,” said Bennett, who attended a fundraiser this past summer hosted by Charlottesville’s Phil Wendel. Brogdon, Harris and Anderson were there. “Teaming up with Malcolm was a no-brainer. He is one of the most generous, thoughtful leaders I know, and to join with him in serving those in need is very meaningful.”

Brogdon was excited and most appreciative to have his former coach join the cause.

“I learned so much about servanthood and gratitude during my time playing under Coach Bennett,” said Brogdon, founder of Hoops2o and a star player for the NBA’s Indiana Pacers. “Having him on board ensures we will educate more fans about the need that exists in East Africa. It will strengthen the impact the UVA community and collegiate fans can have on the world water crisis.”

Bennett will be wearing a Hoops2o pin and pocket square during Virginia’s home game against rival North Carolina on Dec. 8. He and wife, Laurel, are funding a well project in Isinya, Kenya, that will provide water to 8,700 people. The Bennett’s are hoping their gift will impact others to donate.

In fact, Bennett is dedicating this week to raising awareness to Hoops2o in the Charlottesville and UVA community via the following:

  • Follow @waterboysorg on social media
  • Visit the Hoops2o booth at UVA’s “Lighting of the Lawn” event on Thursday
  • Attend the Hoops2o Beer release from Champion Brewing Company on Friday at Boylan Heights
  • Participate in the day-long social media “Game Changer” effort on Sunday by sharing social media posts from @WaterboysOrg, tagging three friends, and using the hashtag #WaHoos20

“I’m exited to work with the entire Hoops2o roster and bring this mission to NCAA basketball,” Bennett said. “Just as NBA fans have rallied around the cause, I know our UVA and collegiate fans will join me in making a big impact for individuals and communities through the gift of clean water.”

For more information on Hoops2o and Waterboys, visit: www.waterboys.org/hoops2o

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