By Andrew Mannion, Staff Writer
The Alpha Phi Delta fraternity hosted a charity event called “Hoops for Troops” in Draddy Gymnasium last Wednesday. This basketball tournament raised over 180 dollars for the “Homes for our Troops” organization.
Six teams entered the tournament with one mission: to be the last one standing. The tournament winner would win quite the prize — three tickets to watch the Orlando Magic take on the Brooklyn Nets live at the Barclays Center.
Teams were eliminated one by one, with “Money Team” and “Dom Russo” being the final two teams standing. Many participants in the tournament crowded around the court to watch the championship game.
Both teams put it all on the line, playing a physical game and fighting for every loose ball. The game featured plenty of three-pointers, fade-away jumpers and slam dunks. Both teams left nothing up for grabs in this game.
“People got really into it. That final’s game got intense,” APD President Jon Deutsch said.
The game came down to the wire, having a final score of 21-19, with the Money Team coming out on top. Jaures Segning, one of the members of “Money Team,” spoke highly of the event.
“It was a fun event,” Segning said. “It got me to leave my house on a Wednesday night, and it was a good sweat. Everyone had good sportsmanship. It was overall a good event.”
After the pandemic affected many of APD’s philanthropy events for a couple of years, many fraternity members noted that it is very nice to get back to having these events. Deutsch made a point of this after the event.
“We used to do Hoops for Troops a lot more, but the pandemic happened, and we weren’t able to work that actively,” Deutsch said. “But last semester, we were really active with our philanthropy, and we’re trying to stay on that track now.”
Events like these are essential for the charities that fraternities raise money for. Charity events like “Hoops for Troops” play a significant role in giving back to the community for APD. Jordan Gaylord, a member of APD, noted his excitement about doing community events within the fraternity.
“I love doing events like this,” Gaylord said. “It’s the main reason why I joined a fraternity. After COVID happened, a lot of these philanthropy events died down. I’m just really happy that events like Hoops for Troops are coming back.”
The other beneficiary of the event is the “Homes for our Troops” organization. They are a charity organization that raises money to help out victims of the attacks of Sept. 11, 2001. They focus on building “smart homes” specifically designed to fit the needs of disabled veterans.
The organization has had great success, building 346 homes for veterans and receiving the highest possible grade a charity could receive from “Charity Navigator” and “Charity Watch.” The organization has changed the lives of many, including Army specialist Stephen Baskis.
Baskis lost his eyesight after an EFP (explosively formed penetrator) detonated close to his vehicle. HFOT heard about this story and built a smart home so Baskis could live on his own again. He was able to get back into some of his former interests, like making music, because of the house. Baskis noted how grateful he is for the home and everyone involved in building the home.
“I can’t see the home, but I can feel it. It’s an amazing space for me,” he told Homes for our Troops. “This home, and the people who donated to make it happen, helped me create a foundation and move forward.”
Having an event like this greatly helps out their cause. They announced on their website that “HFOT has more than 100 Veterans in the application process for our program for severely injured Veterans.” Having an event that would raise money would help their program, and it seems Alpha Phi Delta did just that.