It’s no secret that cancer affects the African-American community more than any other racial group. According to the Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center, “African Americans had the highest death rate and shortest survival time for most cancers of any racial and ethnic group in the nation as of 2005, the newest data available, according to the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services.”
According to cancer.org, the most common factor form of cancer for black men is prostate cancer, which is 31% of all cancers. And at 32% the most common form of cancer for black women is breast cancer.
In 2012, Ayo Amoo and KB Thomas came together and started the Hoop for Hope tournament in order to raise money for breast cancer. Five years later, the Hoop for All Foundation has continued to grow into an event that helps bring awareness and raises money for all forms of cancer.
People register their teams to be a part of an all-day tournament, with its winners announced at the end of the day. This year’s event also included a dunk contest as well as performances from Rahiem Supreme, Mazin, and Grind Paze.
“Year one, it was a work in progress. We had about 40 people come to the tournament, we didn’t have any official reps,” explained co-founder Thomas.
The event only had two sponsors its first year, Thomas said. However, previous years over the past few years there have been sponsors from Chrysler, Susan. G. Komen, and Gatorade.
“The event has grown significantly each year. In attendance, donations towards cancer, and cancer awareness amongst other things,” said Hoop for All sponsor Gerald Jackson.
The Hoop for All foundation also promotes youth athletics, character development, scholarship, and health awareness. According to RunWashington, on Aug. 12 Hoop for All conducted a back to school 5k run on the Georgetown Waterfront. All of the kids who participated in the run received free school supplies.
At the close of this year’s tournament, the Hoop for All Foundation presented checks to two kids that have cancer; John Terry from the Children’s Brain Tumor Foundation, who has a brain tumor and Max Foor from Alex’s Lemonade Stand Foundation, who has leukemia. The children also received a tour of the Under Armour Global Headquarters in Baltimore.
“I see Hoop for All in the future as a developmental process being able to provide kids with financial literacy classes is something that we’re going to have in the near future,” Thomas says.