3×3 hoops charity classic
Lee Gaughan Brown
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I am, and always have been a hoopaholic. Ever since I started playing at 13 in School at Moat Community College in Highfields, Leicester, I’ve lived and played Basketball. My first Local league mens team was Manulife back in 1985.
Playing every day at the old Granby Halls on an early Youth Training Scheme (YTS) for Basketball/Work placement at the then sponsors, Walkers Crisps. Though quite often Roller Skating on the mornings the ‘coaches’ didn’t make it in.
I spent the majority of my youth being moving around England and Wales and being placed in various Children’s Homes or Foster Care, mostly due to poor parental management more than anything else. My brother and I weren’t bad kids, our mother just found it difficult, and quite often it was easier for her to let the ‘state’ look after us for a while.
“Ha, if only I knew then what I know now!”
From the age of 15, during my last year at School, with my mother having moved on again, my brother and I stayed in Leicester. As this was the town we knew the best, it seemed like a good idea. I was fed up of the constant moving around from pillar to post so I made my first ‘adult’ decision (ha, if only I knew then what I know now!).
My brother soon moved away and I found myself, evicted (it was my mothers old council house, after all so it was just a matter of time), homeless and sleeping on a Victoria Park bench for a night, the second night I spent terrified, hiding under a rough grey blanket, in the local homeless shelter. I made a promise to myself that night that I would never spend anymore time in that place again. So I sat in the council offices and refused to move until they found me somewhere to stay. I spent the next six months in the London Road Hostel until I turned 16 and was eligible for the Council to find me a flat.
During all this time the only thing that kept me grounded was my love of basketball. Had I not had a solid group of team mates around me, my life, although still very much a struggle (4 children by the age of 20, that’s another nuts story, right there!) right up till I was 24, may have turned out very different. I did the best I could given the circumstances in which I was living.
I am very, very lucky to have found a woman who has stood by me, despite all my many many faults and childhood scars, for nearly 30 years now (yes, she regularly tells me people get less for murder), but I love her and our 7 year old son with all my heart.
I’ve now been playing Basketball for 35 years at various levels of skill. During these years I have made many good friends, lots of whom have moved on to pastures new, some still playing, others taking up different roles such as Refereeing or table officiating but quite a few have decided to hang up their boots. I too took a break for a couple of years, but I got fat and thought better of it, and it’s in my blood, so I had to return.
“I needed help then, and unfortunately, a lot of people need help now.”
So, now that I’m nearly fifty years old, have had a relatively good life considering, and a happy loving family around me, I thought it was about time I gave something back to the sport I love and the Leicester community that has been my home since I was 10 years old. I needed help then, and unfortunately, a lot of people need help now.
I couldn’t be a Referee, I have nothing but admiration and respect for every single one, it is not something I could cope with (mostly because the game would never end, I just can’t help it, I would call EVERYTHING!!!) and I would probably get in to too many arguments. So I decided I would celebrate my 50th Birthday in the best way I could think of – by organising a Basketball Tournament for Charity.
So here I am, organising and preparing for what I hope will be a fantastic summer day of 3×3 Basketball madness, with all the money raised going to some well deserving, local Leicester charities.
Hopefully, there will be 20 teams in total, playing Round Robin group games with the top 2 teams progressing to the knock-out stage. The winning team and runner’s-up team will split the total fund 65/35 between their chosen charities as well a get a little something for themselves from a couple of sponsors that are already on boards – £100 of Starbucks goodies and some celebratory drinks courtesy of Everards Brewers.
So now you know what and why, get yourselves involved, help me raise heaps of cash for charity, and if you play get yourself a team together and get Registered.
“Help me raise heaps of cash for charity,”
My biggest success
That's any easy one, managing to convince my wife to marry and stick with me for 28 years...outstanding.
+Thank Yous and Updates
New Fantastic T-Shirt Designs
The T-Shirt designs have been created and are ready for printing. With 2 unique, specially created designs developed by Rizsa of UB Designs (find him on Envato.com) for the tournament, we're all going to be looking great while warming in up, and of course afterwards, for those that purchase the limited edition prints. Both styles can be viewed on our main blog here; https://www.3x3hoops.net/fantastic-unique-t-shirts-designs-for-the-tournament/
New Sponsor - The Locker Room Sports Bar & Pool Lounge
I would to say a huge thank you to The Locker Room Sports Bar & Pool Lounge for joining us and donating some cash and an fantastic prize for the team that raises the most donations. An evening at the Bar for 5 at a VIP Table with meal and drink included, awesome guys, and greatly appreciated.