Alumni Compete for "Hoops Against Hunger"

Competition To See Who Can Collect the Most Food

March 2, 2009

MCALLEN, TEXAS - The NBA D-League Rio Grande Valley Vipers, Food Bank RGV, Walgreens and BMP Radio announced today that local collegiate alumni groups will be competing tomorrow to see who can donate the most food in the “Hoops Against Hunger” Food Drive.

Alumni groups included in this event are STC, UTPA, UT-Austin, Texas A&M, UT-Brownsville, Texas Tech, Trinity, University of Houston, North Texas, MIT, Wayne State, UConn, Ohio University, Boston University and Cornell.

“We all have school pride, and we hope that the race to be the best will help to encourage members of the community help us to surpass our food drive goal.” Vipers President and General Manager Brian Michael Cooper said.

The Vipers have collected 755 pounds of food during their last four home games while Walgreens has collected about 150 pounds of non-perishable food items at their 17 Rio Grande Valley locations, putting them putting them near the halfway mark of collecting one ton of food by the last regular season game on April 11th. The Vipers have five home games remaining.

“The fact that we have a good chance at surpassing our goal really says a lot about the wonderful and caring fans that the Vipers have. Together, we can help to bounce out hunger in the Rio Grande Valley.” Cooper said.

Whether the food is donated at Dodge Arena before any remaining Vipers home game, or at Walgreens, fans can receive one free ticket for every donation of four non-perishable food items for the remainder of the season.

The fan who brings the most non-perishable food items will win an autographed basketball by either Hall-of-Famer and former Houston Rocket Rick Barry to Hall-of-Famer and former San Antonio Spur George “The Iceman” Gervin.

The Food Bank RGV distributes 96,000 meals per week, with two-thirds of those going to children.

One out of every five children go to bed hungry in the United States. That number jumps to one in four in Texas and 50% in the Rio Grande Valley.

“The harsh stark reality is that if we feed every single hungry person in the valley today, they will be hungry again tomorrow. Hunger doesn’t only occur during the holiday giving season. People need food year round,” Food and Fund Drive Manager Carter Robinson said.

After Hurricane Dolly hit, the Food Bank RGV distributed over one million pounds (500 tons) of food and water.

The Rio Grande Valley Vipers are a professional basketball team in the NBA Development League (NBA D-League). The NBA Development League, founded in 2001, is the NBA’s official minor league and features 16 teams with direct affiliations to NBA teams for the 2008-09 season. An expansion team will begin play in Portland, Maine for the 2009-10 season. Sixty former NBA Development League players were on 2008-09 NBA start-of-season rosters, and the league continues to develop current NBA coaches and referees. In fostering the league’s connection to the community, its teams, players and staff promote youth basketball, support local needs and interests, and assist in educational development through NBA D-League Cares programs. The NBA D-League also advances the game of basketball as the research and development arm of the NBA. Throughout this season fans can watch all NBA D-League games on NBA Futurecast, the free live Web-streaming initiative found at Vipers NBA affiliates are the Houston Rockets, and the New Orleans Hornets.