By Dr. Grant Pierce, Event Organizer

A decade is a long time and yet it can go by so fast! Hoops From The Heart just celebrated its 10th annual event on Wednesday evening August 8th with another great crowd of inner city kids in attendance. About 150 inner city children hooped and hollered for their favourite players during an evening of fun, food and basketball. The kids were treated to some great Boston Pizza (and entertained by their mascot too), tasty butter chicken from Clay Oven and more treats from Pratt’s Foods. These generous sponsors filled the tummies of all of the kids and sent them on to watch some of the best basketball players in Manitoba.

This year the combined University of Manitoba/University of Winnipeg men’s team soundly trounced the Manitoba All Star team in an exciting dunk filled game. This was their first win in the last 4 years! In the women’s game the University of Winnipeg women were triumphant once again over the University of Manitoba women in a hard fought entertaining game. Three pointers were raining down all game!

The kids all received commemorative 10th anniversary Hoops From The Heart T shirts. The players were pestered on the bench for most of the game by the kids to sign their shirts (they loved it!) until those shirts were covered with autographs. Each of the kids received a basketball signed by one of the players to take home and work on their game. And, to reward those that do exactly that, Hoops From The Heart continues to contribute (due to the generosity of their donors) to two ever-growing Scholarship funds at the University of Winnipeg and the University of Manitoba to allow an inner city young adult to play basketball and attend either school.

Once again, a big THANK YOU to the Hoops From The Heart Organizing Committee who work so hard before and during the annual event to insure it all goes off as smoothly as possible. Thank you Greg Mackling, Trevor Ahluwalia, Gail Pierce, Susan Hirst, Shawna Kynoch, Tom Nicholson, Carter Chen, Angeline Rivard and Randy Viray.   Another big thank you to our sponsors without whom this event would not have possible.   Clay Oven, Boston Pizza, Pratt’s Food Service, Royal Bank of Canada, Home Run Sports, Basketball Manitoba, First Choice Distribution, Chum Optical, Vickar Chevrolet, Manitoba Association of Basketball Officials, the Philippine Basketball Association and of course the Universities of Winnipeg and Manitoba.

A special thank you to all the players who came out to put on an excellent show to Keith McCullough as the play to play announcer at the game, and to Joseph Pilapil who did the excellent photography work shown here.  Thank you to Robert Blaich who created  (for the 10th time) the design for this year’s T-Shirt.

Events like this focused on supported underprivileged youth are important not only for these youth and their families but for the health and welfare of society as a whole.  We are proud to play a small part in the goal of helping inner city youth and look forward to another exciting event next year.

Grant Pierce


U of Manitoba /U of Winnipeg                      Manitoba Men’s All Star Team
            Men’s Basketball Team
Coaches: Kirby Schepp 
and Mike Raimbault                                      Coach: Ogo Okwumabua
Denzel Soliven.    U of Winnipeg.                   Jamar Farley  
Joseph Medrano.  U of Winnipeg.                   Donny Hayes 
Riley Paul.            U of Winnipeg.           Daniel Sackey 
Josh Gandier.       U of Winnipeg.                   Amarjit Basi
Don Dayrit.          U of Winnipeg.                   Emmanuel Adesida
James Wagner       U of Manitoba.                  Josh Ajibola
Rashawn BrowneU of Manitoba.                  Chad Posthumus  
Zach GiesbrechtU of Manitoba.      Ogo Okwumabua
Andre ArrudaU of Manitoba.                  Nicolas Bueno
Mark Tachie.         U of Manitoba.                  Amir Ali

7:30 pm Women’s Game
University of Winnipeg Wesmen University of Manitoba Bison 
Women's Basketball Team.                          Women’s Basketball Team                                                                                   
CoachTanya McKay                                 Coach: Michele Sung
Robyn Boulanger                                          Dana Inglis
Mikayla Funk                                                Montana Kinzel
Paige Van                                                      Claire Harvey 
Katie Van                                                      Deidre Bartlett 
Jessica Dyck                                                 Tiana Mighty 
Faith Hezekiah                                              Bettina Shyllon
Jillian Duncan                                               Emerson Martin 
Deb Nkiasi                                                    Tiara Licsi
Alyssa Grant                                                 Brittanie Parisien
Vanessa Millions                                   Keziah Brothers 
                                                                      Addison Martin 
                                                                      Lauren Manaigre


Photography by Joseph Pilapil 

More information on the event can be found at...

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