The fifth annual 24 Hour Helping Hoops Charity Shootout was held on the 25th and 26th of June at Albert Park College. Run by Adam McKay and the incredible team at Helping Hoops, the event was set up in the hope of raising $50,000, which would allow the organization to keep running their weekly programs for underprivileged kids free from cost.
As the name suggests, the money was raised through the events participants shooting as many free throws as they could within a 15-minute time slot. The goal for the Helping Hoops team was to see 20,000 made free throws throughout the 24 hours. The good news is that more than 20,000 free throws were made and more than $50,000 was raised.
In total, 21,545 free throws were drained, and a staggering $58,164.32 was raised.
I’m proud to say that if it wasn’t for me, that free throw total would only have reached 21,362. To save you from having to crank out your calculator, that means that I hit 183 baskets (out of 340 attempts – still a better clip than Andre Drummond, DeAndre Jordan and Dwight Howard shot last season) in my 15-minute time slot. Not exactly the top of the crop, but it was enough to eclipse the mark of my Shootout protégé Lachie Miller of Get Scout’d.
Including Lachie and myself, over 140 people registered, fund-raised and attended the event. As well as shooting hoops, attendees enjoyed prize giveaway’s, retro arcade games, food trucks, live street art, a demonstration clinic, vertical leap testing, a photo booth and kids activities, Helping Hoops photography exhibition and many more activities on offer.
Saturday saw a host of special guests lend their support to the 24 Hour Charity Shootout and help add to the mounting free throw tally. Melbourne United’s Chris Goulding, Majok Majok and David Barlow were joined by Australian cricketer Peter Siddle, Attica restaurant’s Ben Shewry, former NBA and NBL player Chris Anstey, and WNBL and Australian Opal player Alice Kunek, who teamed up with some very excited Helping Hoops kids and coaches in a novel free throw shooting competition that provided one of the highlights of the Shootout.
United’s Chris Goulding also took the opportunity to make a cheque presentation to Helping Hoops for $2,000, which he raised through his CG43 T-shirts that were sold at Melbourne United games at the end of the NBL season.
courtesy of Ben Shewry, who is fresh back from New York where his restaurant, Attica, was awarded 33rd in the World’s Best 50. Shewry was joined by Gary from Gary’s Quality Meats and Michael from Tivoli Road Bakery who contributed to the event and helped cook and serve the specially designed hot dogs to the eager Shootout participants and guests. In total, Ben, Gary and Michael’s generosity raised $1,889.35 for Helping Hoops.
The 24 Hour Charity Shootout is a fantastic event for a very worthy cause. Whether you’re a seasoned professional or an open-age D-grade hack like myself, you’re still contributing and making a difference to the community.
I will be back in 2017 to do it all again. Will you be there too?