Thursday, January 5, 2017
The Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame announced today its formal partnership with Sport Changes Life, a registered UK charity and US nonprofit organization that works in disadvantaged communities to help young people find a path to a brighter future with the help of international student-athletes. The Basketball Hall of Fame, in combination with the Metro Atlantic Athletic Conference, aims to support this cause by helping to extend their reach across the Atlantic.
“Basketball, and sports in general, undoubtedly provide opportunities some may never find otherwise,” said John L. Doleva, President and CEO of the Basketball Hall of Fame. “The Sport Changes Life Foundation has done tremendous work in Northern Ireland with the help of American athletes and we look forward to teaming up to support their efforts.”
The Sport Changes Life Foundation began in 2007, with its founding partner Ulster University and Chaka Travel, awarding elite scholar-athletes from America the chance to earn a Master’s degree while simultaneously working in disadvantaged international communities and raising the aspirations of young people through sport. Since the program’s launch, 78 Victory Scholars have traveled abroad to work throughout the Island of Ireland to engage and inspire young people all while continuing their education and playing the sport that they love.
“Sport Changes Life is honored to partner with the Basketball Hall of Fame to spread the message of our mission and provide unique meaningful opportunities to youth and collegiate student-athletes alike, “said Gareth Maguire, CEO of Sport Changes Life. “We are also delighted the Rory Foundation has become a formal partner. The Foundation, set up by golfer Rory McIlroy, has given us a platform to reach into various communities and create awareness and understanding of the work we do. As a global ambassador, we are delighted to have Rory on board.”
“The Rory Foundation is delighted to hear Sport Changes Life are teaming up with the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame. In the year, we’ve been working with Sport Changes Life, we’ve seen what great experience the Victory Scholars have been getting throughout Ireland and Northern Ireland and we’re looking forward to what the future brings,” said Barry Funston, Chief Executive of the Rory Foundation.
As part of this announcement, the Basketball Hall of Fame welcomed several distinguished guests including Springfield Mayor Domenic J. Sarno, Commissioner of the Metro Atlantic Athletic Conference Rich Ensor, Chief Executive of the Rory Foundation Barry Funston, Director of Global Sales and Guest Services for Aer Lingus Jack Foley, and Lord Mayor of Belfast, Northern Ireland Brian Kingston.
The newly formed partnership intends to create a series of ongoing community relations events and initiatives, as well as basketball tournaments, to be held in the Belfast vicinity beginning in 2017. Formal announcements surrounding specific events will be released at a later date.
About the Metro Atlantic Athletic Conference:
With 11 institutions strongly bound by the sound principles of quality and integrity in academics and excellence in athletics, the Metro Atlantic Athletic Conference (MAAC) is in its 36th year of competition during the 2016-2017 academic year. Current conference members include: Canisius College, Fairfield University, Iona College, Manhattan College, Marist College, Monmouth University, Niagara University, Quinnipiac University, Rider University, Saint Peter's University, and Siena College.
About Sport Changes Life:
The primary goal of the Sport Changes Life Foundation is to provide an opportunity for raising the aspiration of young people on both sides of the Atlantic so that they can live out their dreams and guide them as sport changes their lives. We are a sports foundation built on inspiration, hope and victory. SCL works in disadvantaged communities to help young people find a path to a brighter future with the help of our international student-athletes, the Victory Scholars. In February 2016, SCL formally partnered with Rory McIlroy charity the Rory Foundation, as both foundations strive together to help change the lives of young people on the island of Ireland and beyond.
For more information on the Sport Changes Life Foundation:
Visit us online: www.sportchangeslife.com
… on Facebook: www.facebook.com/SportChangesLifeFoundation
… on Twitter/Instagram: @Sportchanges @Victoryscholars
… or call 001 44 2890 454 964
About the Rory Foundation:
The Rory Foundation was established in 2013 to help children live better lives, to raise funds and offer support to children’s charities with a special meaning and purpose for Rory. Beneficiaries of the Rory Foundation so far include the Cancer Fund for Children, Mencap NI and Sport Changes Life (all based in Northern Ireland), Barretstown, the Jack & Jill Foundation and LauraLynn Children’s Hospice. The Rory Foundation will host the Dubai Duty Free Irish Open for the third year in 2017.
About the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame:
Located in Springfield, Massachusetts, the city where basketball was invented, the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame promotes and preserves the game of basketball at every level – professional, collegiate and high school, for both men and women on the global stage.
For more information on the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame:
Visit us online: www.hoophall.com
… on Facebook: www.facebook.com/BBHOF
… on Twitter/Instagram: @hoophall #HoophallInternational
… or call 1-877-4-HOOPLA