BE basketball team scores win for needy children at 'Hoops for Hope' tourney

They played a holiday basketball tournament at Ashley Ridge High School called “Hoops for Hope” that concluded Dec. 22.

There was, of course, plenty of attention paid to what was happening on the hardwood as the teams vied for the championship hardware. But most of the focus could have been on the Christmas tree and presents underneath it in the school’s atrium.

Ashley Ridge invites eight teams to participate in the event, and the tournament is more than just about wins, losses and a trophy. Each player and coach is asked to contribute a gift to a needy person in the Charleston and Dorchester County areas. That was what appealed most to Bishop England coach Bryan Grevey when he decided to make this tournament part of the Bishops’ schedule three years ago. They’ve returned every year and find a sense of satisfaction that involves more than wins and losses.

“The kids enjoy playing in this because it helps the needy kids in our area,” Grevey said. “Anytime the Bishop England community can help out a needy child or family, we’re going to jump at the chance.”

There were eight teams in this year’s field and most of the rosters had 12 to 14 players, while each team had three or four coaches. That’s anywhere from 120 to 144 gifts that will make someone’s Christmas a little brighter. The number could be even higher because some players and coaches give more than one gift.

“It’s a chance for the players and coaches to give back to the community,” Grevey said. “It really helps define the true meaning of Christmas. Even though it’s a small gesture, you are still helping out others, and that’s the way it should be at this time of the year.”

The players and coaches place their gifts under the tree in the school’s atrium, and Grevey says that based on the gifts under the tree, which include basketballs, footballs, soccer balls, teddy bears, trucks that make noise and Barbie Dolls, the recipients primarily are small children.

Grevey said his team is very competitive and expects to win anytime it steps on the court. The Bishops wanted to win in the tournament, “But this tournament has a bigger meaning than wins and losses,” Grevey said.

The Bishops dropped a 71-52 decision to Pinewood Prep in the first round of the tournament, but rebounded the next day with a 66-43 victory over Beaufort. The Bishops, who were scheduled to play the Palmetto Scholars on the final day of the tourney, owned only three victories in their first 10 games after beginning the season as the No. 9 team in Class AAA.

“Obviously, the won-loss record doesn’t reflect it, but we have become a better team,” Grevey said. “We play a difficult schedule by design to prepare for region play. We’ve had some tough tests. We’ve seen everything we’re going to see when region play begins.”

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