Tournament with a cause

By Joe Henricksen

There are dozens and dozens of Thanksgiving Tournaments tipping off next week. All offer a little something different, from the talent level (at St. Charles East and Chicago Heights) to neighborhood rivalries (at the Glenbard District Tournament where all four high schools meet in a round robin) to helping a cause, which brings us to the Hoops For Healing Tournament in Naperville and Oswego.

Naperville North and Oswego will play host to a tournament next week that in the last several years has helped raise awareness and funds for cancer research. The original idea began when Woodstock and Belvidere high schools teamed up in 2001. That tournament has raised over $90,000 for cancer research as it heads into its 10th year. Naperville North athletic director Doug Smith, who helped with the inaugural tournament when he was the athletic director at Woodstock, brought the idea to Naperville North.

In its first year in 2005, when Smith teamed up with former Oswego athletic director Craig Watson to begin a similar tournament in the western suburbs, Hoops For Healing raised over $6,000 for Cancer Research at Edward Cancer Center in Naperville. Soon the tournament was expanded to include a sophomore tournament. And since 2005 the tournament has raised over $50,000. Funds raised from the tournament now go towards Camp Hope, a unique support program at Edward Cancer Center.

Camp Hope helps kids who have a parent or grandparent undergoing cancer treatment and allows them to get to know other children who are undergoing similar experiences. In addition, Camp Hope gives kids a chance to be kids with others who are in the midst of similar difficulties at home. Not only is Camp Hope great for the kids, it’s therapeutic for the cancer patient and the other adults in the family as well.

While high school basketball fans are always looking for the best matchups, watching the top players and catching a glimpse of the elite teams, there are other reasons to attend games next week as well. The balanced field at Naperville North and Oswego will not only be competitive, but the proceeds from all the fans that attend go towards a terrific cause.

Those wishing to donate to the cause can send a check made payable to Camp Hope to Naperville North High School, Attention: Doug Smith, 899 N. Mill St., Naperville, IL 60563

Here is a schedule of the games to be played in the 2010 Hoops For Healing Tournament.

Monday, Nov. 22 at Oswego

5:30 p.m.Aurora Christian vs. Marmion

7:00 p.m.Waubonsie Valley vs. Oswego

Monday, Nov. 22 at Naperville North

5:30 p.m.Oswego East vs. DeKalb

7:00 p.m.Geneva vs. Naperville North

Tuesday, Nov. 23 at Oswego

5:30 p.m.Marmion vs. Waubonsie Valley

7:00 p.m.Oswego vs. Aurora Christian

Tuesday, Nov. 23 at Naperville North

5:30 p.m.Geneva vs. Oswego East

7:00 p.m.Naperville North vs. DeKalb

Wednesday, Nov. 24 at Oswego

12 noonGeneva vs. DeKalb

1:30 p.m.Naperville North vs. Oswego East

3:00 p.m.Waubonsie Valley vs. Aurora Christian

4:30 p.m.Marmion vs. Oswego

Friday, Nov. 26 at Oswego

12 Noon7th Place Game

1:30 p.m.5th Place Game

3:00 p.m.3rd Place Game

5:00 p.m.Championship Game

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