Two GSB faves are featured in the final News & Notes post of 2019.
Hoops2O, the nonprofit founded by Indiana Pacers star guard Malcolm Brogdon that provides fresh drinking water to communities in need in East Africa, just signed its first head coach. Tony Bennett, Brogdon’s coach during his days at the University of Virginia, recently joined the Hoops2O team.
And 11th Hour Racing, an organization that promotes healthy oceans, in part by making world class sailing racing more sustainable, announced grants to a dozen organizations that are addressing climate change-fueled sea level rise and more.
UVA HEAD COACH TONY BENNETT JOINS HOOPS2O
University of Virginia alum Malcolm Brogdon’s squad of NBA Hoops2O ambassadors has a strong UVA navy blue and orange tint. Kyle Guy of the Sacramento Kings, Joe Harris of the Brooklyn Nets, De’Andre Hunter of the Atlanta Hawks all played for the Cavaliers.
So, when Brogdon looked for a coach to take its “game” — funding the building of wells that provide much-needed freshwater to East Africa — to the next level, he not surprisingly turned to his alma mater.
Tony Bennett, who led UVA to its first NCAA Men’s national basketball championship in April, joined Hoops2O last week.
“I’m excited to work with the entire Hoops2o roster and bring this mission to NCAA basketball,” Bennett said in a statement. “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.”
Bennett’s Hoops2o debut came on Sunday, when UVA dispatched the rival University of North Carolina Tar Heels 56-47 in an early season battle of national championship contenders.
The coach wore a Hoops2o pin and pocket square, and the game broadcast included a vignette about the initiative. And, per Josh Martin, writing in the online basketball magazine Closeup 360, “this follows a week of Hoops2o-related events in Charlottesville, including a ‘Lighting of the Lawn’ event…and a beer release from Champion Brewing Company…[Bennett] and his wife, Laurel, are personally funding the construction of a water well that’s expected to serve 8,700 people in Isinya, Kenya.”
“I learned so much about servanthood and gratitude during my time playing under coach Bennett,” Brogdon said in a statement. “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.”
11TH HOUR RACING AWARDS GRANTS TO DEAL WITH ENVIRONMENTAL CHALLENGES FACING COASTAL COMMUNITIES
Living at the powerful three-way intersection of Green, Philanthropy and Sports, 11th Hour Racing works to mobilize sailing, maritime and coastal communities to create systemic change and restore ocean health. Driven by a philosophy of “think global, act local,” the organization connects international sailing team sponsorships with global events and utilizes these large platforms to spotlight grant projects led by community organizations.
11th Hour Racing continued that important work Thursday when it announced a dozen new global grants ($437,000 total) to organizations that are addressing climate change, sea-level rise, habitat loss, plastics pollution, and more.
Two grantees work to improve water quality and tackle climate change through eco-system restoration:
- Save The Bay (Providence, Rhode Island) will expand its Narragansett Bay pollution prevention education programs and enlarge its salt marsh adaptation initiatives throughout 11th Hour Racing’s home state.
- Seacology (Berkeley, California) will collaborate with residents of Giriama (Robinson) Island, Kenya to replant and protect 200 acres of mangroves while providing the community with access to clean water.
Entrance to the Giriama (Robinson) Island Sanctuary along Kenya’s coast (Photo credit: Seacology)
Three other grantees focus on reducing plastic ocean pollution and advancing clean marine technologies:
- Clean Water Fund (Providence) will partner with restaurants in Rhode Island to replace single-use plastic with sustainable alternatives.
- The Final Straw Solent (Hampshire, U.K.) will engage 700 local businesses and organizations in its efforts to reduce plastic pollution and promote sustainability.
- Unplastify (Buenos Aires, Argentina) challenges young people from 15 sailing centers in the country to design an action plan for eliminating single-use plastics from their facilities.
The remaining seven organizations earned 11th Hour Racing grants for fostering ocean literacy and stewardship. Click here for the full list of grantees.
“These grantees represent a varied scope of projects and locations, allowing us to support and foster ocean conservation in diverse communities,” said Michelle Carnevale, 11th Hour Racing’s Grant Program Director. “While each grant has a unique scope, the overall themes are integrated to advance systemic change — empowering individuals to take action on the climate crisis and to restore their coastlines, enabling students to learn science through hands-on education in the natural environment, and reducing plastic pollution by stopping it at the source through clean technologies and proven best practices.”
Michelle Carnevale (Photo credit: 11th Hour Racing)
GSB’s Take: Breathtakingly bad climate crisis news seems to assault us on a daily basis. Thus GSB will continue to push the sports world to use its culture-changing power to move faster, higher, stronger on climate, and report on its failures to do so.
We don’t do kumbaya here.
That said, we also report the stories, large and small, in which sports leans in on climate.
Kudos to Hoops2O and 11th Hour Racing for swimming against the tide of awful climate news, making a positive difference, and offering hope.
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