By Joseph Garcia
The Liberty Hill Lady Wildcats basketball team, along with other teams from across the state, will be doing their part to help raise awareness and funds to fight breast cancer when they participate in the Tournament for Hope June 8-9 at donated school gyms in south Austin and Hays.
All proceeds from this event benefit the Breast Care Center at Austin Seton Medical Center through the Seton Fund.
This year marks the second time the Lady Wildcats will participate in the Tournament for Hope. Program Director and the coach of the eighth grade girls’ team, Edward Beans, said the tournament is a worthy cause that means a lot to the Liberty Hill players.
“This is a very special event for our organization,” Beans said. “And as part of our support, the Liberty Hill Wildcats Boys and Girls Basketball Club will be donating $1 for every point scored by the Lady Wildcats team during the two day tournament.”
Last year’s Tournament for Hope event raised over $40,000 for the Seton Fund. This year event organizers have the goal of raising $65,000.
This is an all-girls tournament with six different divisions, including the 4th/5th, 6th, 7th, 8th, JV and Varsity divisions.
All games will be played on Saturday, June 8, and Sunday, June 9, with no Friday night games. All participants will receive a free Tournament for Hope t-shirt. Fans wanting to catch the games and help contribute to the cause will only pay $12 for a weekend pass and kids under 16 are free.
The tournament is just a part of the event. A “Pretty in Pink” Contest, awarding trophies to the teams with the best pink spirit and sportsmanship, will also be held. Girls, parents and coaches are encouraged to be creative and have fun with the contest. The teams and coaches are being asked to show their support for breast cancer awareness by wearing as much pink as possible. Parents and families should also wear pink, but they will not be eligible for the contest.
The Nike “Shoe Challenge” Contest awards team shoes to the team that raises the most amount of money. Last year, over $5,000 was raised with the shoe challenge.
The Lady Wildcats will do their best to bring home the “Pretty in Pink” trophy as well as try to finish in the top three. The top three finishers in each age division will qualify for the Prime Time Sports National Championships July 24-28.
There have been 27 teams which have already signed up for the benefit tournament, including the Liberty Hill Lady Wildcats and the Liberty Hill Swoosh.
Other teams attending will be the Austin Wildcats, Austin Lady Magic, Cedar Park Timberwolves, Hill Country Hawks, Georgetown Fury, Georgetown Dribblers, Hill Country Hawks, Mass Pro Elite, Shooting for Success, RGV Valley Rebels, Centex Starzz, Katy Rebels, North Texas Metro Magic, Austin Glory, Extreme 212, San Antonio Heat, San Antonio Stars, Westlake Hoops, Llano Lady Jackets, 360 Eagles Elite, Four Points Vipers, San Antonio Islanders, Georgetown Dribblers Eclipse, Top Flight Elite, Lady W.A.R. and Centex Attack.
While this will be an excellent opportunity for the Liberty Hill Lady Wildcats to play against worthy opponents, it is also a chance for them to play for something more than a trophy.
“It is important (to play in this tournament) because we teach all of the players that there is more to life than basketball,” Beans said. “At one time either now or in the future, they will (likely) know a family that this sickness has entered into their lives. And to be a part of helping find a cure may also save their life one day.”