The last time I caught up with Chet Mason was at his free inner-city youth basketball camp the day after LeBron James announced his decision to return to Northeast Ohio. Now, the overseas pro who starred at Cleveland South while winning Ohio’s Mr. Basketball is giving back to his community again with a charity basketball event this weekend.
On Saturday, August 9, Mason will host the 5th Annual Hoop For Hunger Charity Game presented by Top Of The World Studios. Non-perishable food items will be accepted at the door. The goal is to collect enough food to feed one thousand people who need our support right here in the city of Cleveland.
In anticipation of the event, I caught up with Chet on Thursday to talk about his inspiration for the charity effort.
“I started the Hoop For Hunger Charity Game five years ago to help out those who were affected by Hurricane Katrina,” Mason said. “I wanted to gather as much food as possible and send it to New Orleans. Rich Paul, Lebron James’ agent, he played in my first game and helped make it a big success. Then, from there, I just kept it going to help feed those who needed our help right here in Cleveland.
My goal is to get to a point where the game is helping thousands of needy families each and every year. It’s in my heart to do charity work, I have a passion for helping others and I feel like it’s my responsibility to step up and do that in my community.”
The celebrity game will feature recording artists Ray Jr., D.J. Steph Floss, The Good Guys, YT Tha Topic and DJ Ryan Wolf along with professional basketball players like Romeo Travis, David Lighty, Mason and other special guests.
The all-day event begins on Saturday with an AAU youth basketball game at noon. At two there will be a female professional game with the celebrity game tipping off at 4pm. Halftime of the celebrity game will also feature a dunk contest. I’ll be stopping by to drop off some food and check out the action on Saturday so let me know if you do the same.
Despite the contrary reports, however, I will not be participating in the halftime dunk contest this year. Ankle is a little sore.
For more info and how you can help hit Chet up on Twitter: @ChetMason32.