Aug. 20, 2011
KNOXVILLE, Tenn. -- Members of the Vols basketball team, along with the women's program, took to the court at Farragut High School Saturday morning as they participated in the Fourth-Annual Hoops for Hope basketball tournament for individuals with Down Syndrome. Proceeds from the event go to fund scholarships for the Down Syndrome Awareness Group of Eastern Tennessee.
The event features full-court basketball games, shooting contests and photo and autograph sessions with Tennessee players and coaches. Participants were able to spend the morning on the court with their favorite UT players, being coached and encouraged by members of the Big Orange squads.
The Vols and Lady Vols have been a part of the event since its inception in 2008. "We have done Hoops for Hope since my freshman year," said Lady Vol senior Briana Bass. "It has been four years now and it has been a great experience every time. Just being able to come here and work with the kids, being able to run up and down the court with them and cheer for them and be enthusiastic. It is really great and it builds your character and also helps them with their communication skills."
Although the UT student-athletes are teaching Hoops for Hope participants on the court, they are learning from the participants as well.
"They are teaching me to work with patience," Bass said. "We are just encouraging them to run up and down the court. Just giving back - little things like that will go a long way."