BOZICH | Former Cards hosting Go Hoop Day
By Rick Bozich
LOUISVILLE, Ky. (WDRB) — June features National Flip a Coin Day. Did you miss it? Heads or tails?
Sorry, it was June 1.
Don’t fret. Wednesday is National Vanilla Milkshake Day, Thursday National Seashell Day and Friday National Take Your Dog to Work Day (somebody warn Bill Lamb, please).
What about National Basketball Day?
A hamstring problem stopped Houston Rockets point guard Chris Paul in the NBA Western Conference finals, but it has not stopped Paul from trying to create a day to celebrate basketball, the game that he loves.
Former Louisville player Ellis Myles and Cards’ basketball manager Trae Cunningham agree. They are inviting the Kentuckiana community to celebrate basketball with them from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. on Saturday at Westport Middle School (8100 Westport Road).
“Basketball is the greatest game on Earth and we know how much people in this area love it,” Cunningham said. “It’s a day people across the country are going to celebrate the game.”
“We want to do something to get everybody moving in a positive way,” Myles said. “Basketball is a game that kept me from getting in trouble and moving forward in my life.
“Too many parts of our community are getting torn down by violence. I’d be out playing ball at 9 o’clock every morning. You don’t see that as much any more. We want more kids to fall in love with the game.”
The official title of Saturday’s event is Go Hoop Day. Paul, Evan Turner, Jalen Rose and Paul George are four national organizers. Paul is scheduled to open five gymnasiums for activities.
Former U of L stars Donovan Mitchell and Terry Rozier are listed on the founding member committee.
Cunningham, an older brother of U of L guard Christen Cunningham, and Myles, a starter on Louisville’s 2005 Final Four team, have organized the local celebration. Myles said he has invited former U of L stars Larry O’Bannon, Luke Whitehead, Nate Johnson, Tony Williams and Perrin Johnson as well as former Kentucky guard Rajon Rondo.
Both Westport Middle School gyms will be open for six hours — one for drills and work on skills and fundamentals, the other for pick-up games.
Cunningham said they will distribute 150 free Spalding basketballs as well as 150 Jordan Brand T-shirts. Add a snow-cone machine as well as a fish fry (with a nominal charge for those items), plus a bouncy house, and there will be activities for all age groups.
“Come out and play one game or try to stay on the court all afternoon,” Myles said. “Make some new friends. We just want to celebrate the game we love.”
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