Tournament supports female athletes

The Butler University Health and Recreation Center will host the first ever Shoot for Scholarships 3-on-3 coed charitable basketball tournament on Saturday, April 23.

The tournament is a fundraiser for the Cora Tema Dean Scholarship—a fund that supports female athletes in low-income areas. It is sponsored by the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People and the Women’s Athletic Appreciation Celebration.

Anyone is invited to come and play or donate. Donations may also be made to sponsor teams to play in the tournament, according to a press release.

Team sign-ups can be found in all of the campus residence halls, the HRC, Jordan Hall and C-Club, as well as at 1 Hundred Entertainment Studios at 4025 N. Keystone. Registration fees will be $12 per team and all proceeds will benefit the scholarship fund. There will also be a cash prize for the winning team.

Perinne Perry, an executive member of the NAACP, said the group has been working with the relatively new women’s organization to raise awareness for and interest in female athletes.

“We have been working as a team to assist the goals of the WAAC vision,” she said. “That vision is to raise awareness for athletes that are underappreciated.”

Perry said money for women’s athletics is not passed down as regularly as it is for men, so the goal is to help schools send females to complete a degree while being an athlete.

She said the two groups have chosen to focus on women’s athletics because it provides the girls an alternative to pregnancy.

Carlton Hart, co-founder of the WAAC, said his goal for the organization, and specifically the Shoot for Scholarships fundraiser, is to raise awareness of the underappreciated talent of female athletes and also sponsor an Indianapolis resident for a college athletic scholarship.

“We want to bring their hard work and long practices to light and appreciate all of that in the same way the males are celebrated,” he said.

The Cora Tema Dean Scholarship has already helped more than 400 female athletes from low-income areas reach their goals of attending college and becoming collegiate scholar-athletes.

The scholarship is open to all female Indianapolis residents interested in pursuing a career in collegiate athletics. There are stipulations for family income rate and a grade point average requirement of 3.0 or better for applicants. This ensures the award is going to someone devoted to both school and athletics.

“It has enabled deserving young scholars to further their education in spite of economic difficulties,” the release said.

Sophomore Nic Hochstedler has served as the student liaison, bringing the event to campus.

Hochstedler first became involved with the NAACP as part of a class he was taking that involved the NAACP prison forum and legislative issues.

“I [was able] to see what the NAACP would want to support and advocate,” he said. “I’ve worked on different projects throughout the year—they approached me about this idea of a fundraiser and I thought about where could I use my resources to help out.”

Knowing that the WAAC and NAACP wanted the fundraiser to eventually become a nationwide, annual event, Hochstedler said he has brainstormed how best to interest local residents and raise awareness for the cause.

“I’m a college student and I know lots of other students enjoy playing basketball,” he said. “The idea of a basketball tournament just kind of came together and because I’m part of the NAACP, Butler was a good starting ground as a venue.”

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