Cornerstone University Supports the Van Andel Institute During Hoops for Hope Initiative


by Jordan Grooters (B.A. ’17)

The men's and women's CU basketball teams took the court on Saturday, Jan. 23 in a double header against Lourdes University. But this was no ordinary game. The inaugural Hoops for Hope basketball game gave the players, coaches and fans a chance to give back to their community.

Purple T-shirts worn by the teams and fans were sold for $10, and the proceeds were donated to the Purple Community at the Van Andel Institute (VAI). The VAI supports biomedical research and science education in order to make a difference in the lives of people with diseases like cancer and Parkinson's. A short video was shown at halftime of both games to encourage those in attendance to donate and to get involved in the Purple Community.

Aaron Sagraves, assistant athletic director for communications, says that he looks forward to the future and hopes that the teams may be able to continue to support the VAI by making the game an annual event and by involving the athletes in volunteer opportunities. Over $500 was raised from the sales of T-shirts alone. Both teams were also able to bring home a win.

The varsity women's head coach Katie Mattera says, "Playing for a cause sparked us. To be able to give back to the community is something we love doing here at Cornerstone, and its always great to get a win."

Junior Michael McLaughlin says, "The atmosphere was incredible and I love the support we have for such a great cause. It was a very special game because we were playing for a cause way bigger than basketball."

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