The final Hoops for the Troops Basketball summer program is being held at the Parsons Gym in Milford this Wednesday July 30 from 6 - 8:30 pm. Joe Meade, a college scout for the NBA’s Utah Jazz, is asking local residents to drop off items for the U.S. soldiers serving overseas. Meade is the director of Hoopskills Basketball and is a retired New York City police officer. He started the program a year ago and has been working with Soldier Socks (www.soldiersocks.com) to coordinate his efforts. Soldier Socks helps the troops overseas by sending donated items and also raises money for returning soldiers who need prosthetic limbs and wheelchairs.
Hoopskills Basketball runs several programs throughout the year for boys and girls age 8-14. The popular clinics and camps are designed to teach kids the fundamental skills of basketball using fun drills, music and repetition to enhance muscle memory. Meade is a former high school and college coach and is currently an instructor at Post University’s Sport Management program.
“This is a great partnership that helps our soldiers here and abroad while teaching our kids about community service and the value of our armed forces, all under the guise of basketball.”, says Meade. “The generosity of our community always astounds me. We hope to continue the program and allow it to grow for many years to come.”
The kids are a big part of the Hoops for the Troops effort and they are asked to write letters to the troops and will be packing the donated items in boxes to be shipped overseas to soldiers in need. The items most requested by the soldiers are: tube socks, instant coffee, beef jerky, hot cocoa, music CD’s, lip balm and pens and notebooks (no canned goods).