Charlottesville, VA — The Chris Long Foundation announced Monday that University of Virginia (UVA) Head Men’s Basketball Coach Tony Bennett is joining the Foundation’s Hoops2o program as its first “Head Coach.” Bennett, who led UVA to its first NCAA men’s basketball Championship in 2019, joins UVA alums Chris Long, Malcolm Brogdon, Justin Anderson, Kyle Guy, Joe Harris, and De’Andre Hunter in the shared mission of bringing clean water to one million people.
“I first heard about Hoops2o through Malcolm [Brogdon], when he founded the program last year,” says Tony Bennett, UVA Men’s Basketball Coach. “Teaming up with Malcolm again was a no-brainer; he is one of the most generous, thoughtful leaders I know, and to join with him in serving those in need is very meaningful.”
In his role as “Head Coach,” Bennett will help expand the footprint of Hoops2o to basketball fans from the NBA into the collegiate level. To do this, Bennett has selected to bring awareness to Hoops2o during the December 8 home matchup vs. UNC at John Paul Jones Arena. Bennett will wear a Hoops2o pin and pocket square to raise awareness in addition to the program being highlighted via in-game content. Additionally, Bennett and his wife Laurel are funding a well project in Isinya, Kenya, that will provide water to 8,700 people. The Bennett’s hope their gift will inspire others to follow their lead and donate to Hoops2o.
“I’m excited to work with the entire Hoops2o roster and bring this mission to NCAA basketball,” continued Bennett. “Just as NBA fans have rallied around the cause, I know our UVA and collegiate fans will join me in making a big impact for individuals and communities through the gift of clean water.”
To support the announcement of Bennett’s involvement, Hoops2o is dedicating the week leading up to the December 8 game to rallying support from the UVA community. Students, fans, and alumni can show their support and join Bennett in being a game-changer in unique ways throughout the week, including:
- Follow @waterboysorg on social media
- Visit the Hoops2o booth at UVA’s Lighting of the Lawn event on Thursday, December 5
- Attend the Hoops2o Beer release from Champion Brewing Company on Friday, December 6 at Boylan Heights
- Participate in the day-long social media “Game Changer” effort on Sunday, December 8 by sharing social media posts from @WaterboysOrg, tagging three friends, and using the hashtag #WaHoos2o
“I learned so much about servanthood and gratitude during my time playing under Coach Bennett,” says Malcolm Brogdon, founder Hoops2o. “Having him on board ensures we will educate more fans about the need that exists in East Africa. It will strengthen the impact the UVA community and collegiate fans can have on the world water crisis.”
Hoops2o is a program of the successful Waterboys initiative. Waterboys was started by NFL Walter Payton Man of the Year Chris Long in 2015 and has delivered the gift of clean water to over 330,000 people in East Africa. Together with the NFL Waterboys program, Hoops2o uses a collective impact model to unite as many people as possible in the same goal: bringing clean water to one million people.
To learn more about Hoops2o and the Waterboys mission, visit www.waterboys.org/hoops2o.