HoopStarts Basketball TournamentHoopStars another slam dunk in its 4th year

New charity drive nets 160 pairs of gently used athletic shoes


State Senator Steve Stadelman's youth basketball tournament scored another victory Labor Day, offering a free 3-on-3 competition for 300 players under a sunny skies at Davis Park. The event drew hundreds more cheering spectators, who also donated boxes full of slightly worn gym shoes for young athletes from low-income families.

Players in third through eighth grades competed for first-place medals in games that began at the conclusion of the Labor Day parade and took place alongside the annual Rockford United Labor picnic. All players received commemorative event T-shirts and gift bags.

"The goal of this tournament has always been to provide kids, especially those from inner-city neighbors, with a positive activity on a holiday that also represents the unofficial end of summer," Stadelman said. "Part of what's appealing about the day is the way the event brings together a diverse group of players and families who love the game."

Senator Stadelman's HoopStars wouldn't be possible, he added, with the generous financial and in-kind support of its event partners: the Rockford Park District, ComEd, Comcast, Rockford United Labor, Drive Right School of Driving and Pirate Ninja Print Shop

The shoe drive represented a new collaboration with Sole Ballers, a charitable effort led by Christian Life High School sophomore Treye Tucker. Stadelman encouraged HoopStars players and spectators to donate shoes, and Tucker collected 160 pairs.

Although three times as many teams competed this year as in the inaugural HoopStars tournament in 2013, the event has become a Labor Day tradition for numerous players and families including Danielle Potter, Kate Dennis,Patti Valin Eshleman and Dayla Hughes Kimmel (pictured above) who took a fourth straight girls title.

Channel 17-WTVO News Report


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Contact Info

Springfield Office:
Senator 34th District
121B Capitol Building
Springfield, IL 62706
(217) 782-8022
District Office:
200 S. Wyman St., Suite 301
Rockford, IL 61101
(815) 987-7557