A Wonderful Night at the David Heller Hoopfest
By Brian Wheeler Posted in: makeitbetter
During the lockout, all of the Trail Blazers’ employees have had additional opportunities to do some good in the community. As we like to say, make it better.
On Friday night, November 25th, I had one of those opportunities. I was thrilled to be a part of a very special evening at Central Catholic High School. A group of Adidas employees got together to play hoops against a group of Nike employees. A rivalry game to be sure, but all for a wonderful cause…to raise awareness and funds for teen athletic cardiac screening. The evening was put together by the David Heller Foundation. David was a star athlete at Central Catholic when he died in his sleep in 2005 at the tender age of 17 due to an enlarged heart. His heart condition was never diagnosed, and in fact, he had never shown any signs of a serious illness in his entire young life. His family decided David’s name would live on, and the foundation has worked tirelessly since his death to encourage young athletes to get screened for cardiac health. The result has been that countless lives have been saved through their great work. The Adidas and Nike employees raised more than $32,000 just through their charitable efforts on their respective campuses. And the Friday event also included a silent auction with some terrific collectible sports memorabilia that also netted some valuable funds to the cause.
I was pleased to be able to handle the P.A. announcing for the evening. A Mark Mason I am not, but I had a lot of fun, and I wasn’t the only Trail Blazer represented. The NBA’s best strength and conditioning coach, Bobby Medina, donated his time, and took the teams through a pre-game warm-up and stretching routine that had them all more than limber and flexible for the game. And the teams had a couple of special coaches on their benches. Director of Player Programs, Hersey Hawkins, coached the Adidas squad, and my radio partner, Antonio Harvey, guided the Nike team.
Who won you ask? Well, the Nike team had more points on the scoreboard at the end of the game, but this was one of those nights where there were no losers. From the big crowd in the stands to those of us honored to be a part of the event, we could all smile at the end of the evening, knowing the name of David Heller will never be forgotten. Through the work of his parents, Jeff and Bev, his sisters Heidi and Anna, his brother Darren, and his countless friends all over the community, David’s name will forever be linked to ensuring the future health of young athletes for generations to come.
There are a lot of worthwhile causes out there, and I’m thankful the Trail Blazers’ organization embraces so many of them. I’m glad we’ve added another quality one to the mix. For more information about the David Heller Foundation, please go their website at www.davidhellerfoundation.org