By JOSEPH PHILLIPS
The Hyde Park Neighborhood Club hosted its first Annual 3-on-3 Basketball Tournament, April 10, at the University of Chicago’s Gerald Ratner Center, 5530 S. Ellis Ave.
“We call it the Hyde Park Classic,” said Sarah Diwan, executive director of the Hyde Park Neighborhood Club (HPNC). “It’s our first year hosting the event with hopes of building stronger relationships within the community.”
Diwan said that the event was coordinated by Miriam Sierig, director of program development for the HPNC; Brian Bock, assistant athletic director for the University of Chicago (U. of C.); and the Match-Up Mentorship Program, a program within the HPNC that collaborated with several volunteers from schools in the community including U. of C. Lab School and Ray and Murray elementary schools to help make it happen.
“Today we had sponsors from Whole Foods who donated swag bags to the kids that consisted of fruits, healthy snacks and a bottled water,” Sierig said. “We also had private donors, who were nice enough to sponsor several kids who could not afford the 150 dollar fee to play in the tournament.”
According to Sierig and the HPNC staff records, there were 24 participants, six teams of three to four players and one official. The participants were divided into two age groups (group one, ages 8 through 13 and group two, ages 14 through 18). The first place winners, who called themselves “The Bulls” took home brand new Wilson Official Basketballs. The second place winners “The Match-Ups” won gift cards. “The Sparks” won third place and took home a large pack of Gummie Bears.
Several of the teams raised money through organizing their own fundraisers in order to compete in the tournament. The projects, coordinated by the players on the teams, took a lot of hard work, dedication, discipline and strong effort. The fundraisers also allowed kids that have never played in a Division I facility, to experience what most scholarship athletes experience on a daily basis at the University of Chicago.
All proceeds from the tournament were donated to the HPNC basketball team.
For more information on the Hyde Park Neighborhood Club Team or Open Gym, visit the club, 5480 S. Kenwood Ave.