December 8, 2019 marked an important day in regards to the mission of UPB. The day marked the first annual “Hoopin with Santa” event which is a partnership made possible by The Boys and Girls Club of the Peninsula, UPBasketball and USC grad student, Jacqueline Diep. Getting all the interested kids on the court in East Palo Alto took a massive undertaking, but will set an important precedent for future partnerships and other community events. In combining all the networks of those involved, a 100% free basketball clinic was provided for underserved populations.
“The whole idea was to gather our respective basketball networks to come help us give back to these kids in the community,” Diep said. “The goal was to pull in as many people as we could for this one evening, in hopes to give these kids an experience to remember. I believe we did that.”
Diep was connected with Packie and Bianca Turner after having met at Aaron Gordon’s summer basketball clinic and those three, as well as Remi Someheim of BCP shared an interest in bringing the game of basketball to those who may not have access. Together, they developed a plan based on a shared interest.
“Working with kids who do not always have access to our level training is extremely important to me,” Bianca Turner said.
Hoopin’ With Santa was a hit with over 50 young players, former Golden State Warriors guard Jacob Evans and even members of the Stanford University basketball team coming to support. Toys were provided to the Boys and Girls Club from the UPB community. Competition, games and drills ensued with a notable contest ending in a win from a young baller herself, Kailani.
Diep added that she only sees further growth for such a partnership that will hopefully create further community events, like an annual Hoopin’ With Santa, but also mentorship opportunities for the Turners.
UPB looks forward to continuing to give back. In just two weeks, UPB will host a free girls clinic from 12-1 PM on February 29. For more information, email email@example.com or to sign up click here.
Picture by Caleb Hanna
Yash Maheshwaran stepped onto the Amador Valley High School football field for what he figured to be a routine volunteering opportunity. Little did he know, on this day, his involvement with Special Olympics would begin to become not only a hobby, but an integral part of his life. Yash spent much of a day with a young girl and her guardian, and his outlook on the day remains, even three years later.