The area’s best slam-dunker? The most accurate 3-point boys and girls shooters? The top male and female tandem in the two-ball competition?
Find out who this year’s champions will be Thursday, March 27th when Hoops Fest VIII tips off at Gar-Field High School.
The annual event, which will start at 7 p.m., will once again bring together the area’s best in all four skills competitions in an effort to raise money and awareness for a worthy cause.
This year, money raised from Hoops Fest VIII will go to Ali Mohamed, a junior at Gar-Field, who is in need of prosthetic legs that cost $70,000.
Growing up in war-torn Somalia, Mohamed lost both his legs from the waist down when a bomb was thrown into his house by bandits in the country’s capital of Mogadishu, a tragedy that also killed the boy’s father and uncle. Mohamed, who has been in this country since 1999, was feared dead by the surviving family members following the attack. But Mohamed’s mother, who along with her other children left for a relocation camp in Kenya, received word that her son was still alive.
She returned to Somalia and found her son in a hospital. The two then returned to Kenya, where they lived for nine years until coming to the United States in September of 1999.
Hoops Fest began in 1996 at Woodbridge High School, where the money raised that year also went to pay for prosthetics for Woodbridge graduate Lee Thompson Jr., who had lost both his legs below the knee after coming down with spinal meningitis.
Since then, the event has raised almost $50,000 for families in need.
Last year, Hoops Fest VII raised an event-record $9,500 as 1,816 people jammed into Hylton High School to help with medical costs for Kierston Scott. Scott, the daughter of former Hylton boys basketball coach Marvin Scott, was born with a rare condition that left her without enough chromosomes in her body, leaving her with a host of complicated problems.
Familiar faces and new challengers will highlight this year’s competitions.
Forest Park’s Whitney French will attempt to defend her 3-point title after having won it in 2001 and 2002.
In the slam-dunk competition, look for Potomac’s Jason Flagler and Osbourn Park’s Adam Hinton-Moore. Flagler and Hinton-Moore both made it to the final round last year before finishing behind eventual champion Ahmad Brooks from Hylton.