Jonathan Dues, the founder and CEO of HoopsLink, also expressed support the benefits Hoops to Homework provides both on and beyond the basketball. “We want you to be better young men, but if you learn a thing or two about basketball along the way, that’s a positive,” he said.
Last with words of wisdom was Bulls play-by-play announcer Chuck Swirsky, who told the boys that the tournament was about relationships, and nurturing the skills and drive to succeed in the academic and personal arenas, as well as the athletic one.
Following the speakers, the draft portion of the morning began. The Bulls made sure the atmosphere was electric by providing music from their own DJ, as well as entertainment from their cheer squad, the Incredibulls.
Sitting at four tables, all of our coaches spent time conferring before hyping each pick with jaw-dropping statistics about each young man.
As each participant was called up—to cheers and applause—they posed for photos with their team’s jersey alongside their coach and Bob Love. Love’s own #10 Bulls jersey flies high above the court at the United Center, since he became the second player in franchise history to have his jersey retired.
Bittorf expressed his appreciation for the coaches, who are made up of Mercy Home coworkers, external volunteers, and HoopsLink participants.
The coaches are the heroes of the program and we owe its success to their ongoing service,” he said.