The Hoops and Hope Tour drove 15 hours from Flint, MI to Joplin, Missouri. Joplin is in year two of their recovery from an F-5 tornado that left 158 people dead and caused over $2.8 billion in damages. We were interested to see how they responded to such a tragedy and hopefully provide a fun day of basketball.
We partnered with the Downtown YMCA. Mallorie Larson was our point of contact and she worked extremely hard to get the word out about the camp. The people we met were amazing.
We met two parents who told us of the harrowing events the day of the tornado, but they emphasized how all the residents of Joplin banded together to rebuild. And rebuild they did!
We were in awe at how many new buildings had been erected, and how many houses were either repaired or rebuilt. It was difficult to find traces of the devastating tornado that hit just two years before. There was hope to be found everywhere.
The kids we worked with were really enthusiastic and took to coaching so well. Our scrimmage at the end of the day included great passes, all out hustle, and great sportsmanship.
Joplin, Missouri was the absolute epitome of Hoops and Hope!