Caribbean Hoopfest, an international youth basketball festival, is approaching its third year in the beautiful island of Jamaica. This year’s showcase will be held at the Montego Bay Community College in Jamaica from August 16-21.
Aside from Jamaica, the list of countries that are slated to partake include Trinidad, Canada and the United States. While all players arrive on the 16th, when they will partake in a variety of community and social events, the action on the hardwood starts on Friday, August 18. The itinerary aims to balance competition, entertainment and culture immersion.
An event that originated with four teams has grown to over 12 squads and hundreds of visitors from across the world. Featured players for the 2017 Caribbean Hoopfest include Brandon Jacobs and Loseni Kamara. The Queens native duo will be entering college this on full scholarships, with Kamar attending The University of Idaho and Jacobs attending Pace University.
Caribbean Hoopfest founder Donald Francois had a vision of bringing corporate resources to an underserved region. And so while uniting the global community he partnered with ADIDAS, the largest sportswear manufacturer in Europe and the second largest in the world.
RISING STARS, a non-profit organization is also assisting with the Caribbean Hoopfest initiative. The organization is dedicated to building communities and creating more balanced individuals, which directly align with the goals and mission of the Caribbean Hoopfet–to assist in the development of life skills through basketball.
Both organizations recognized Francois’ vision and ever since have supported the idea of uniting the global community by “Bringing the Worlds Together” to teach, educate and converge the youth.
This unique event focuses on strengthening morale amongst the athletes, as well as their families, local business owners, community leaders and vendors, whom have all been impacted by the annual showcase.
“Our goal has always been to promote growth and culture and this is our best way to do it,” says Francois.
Robin’s Nest Children’s Home, an orphanage in Jamaica, recently partnered with the Hoopfest outreach program. Proceeds from numerous fundraisers will be presented to Danielle Stryka, the Director of Robin’s Nest.
Francois is also the boy’s freshman basketball assistant coach at Archbishop Molloy High School in Briarwood, Queens.
At Molloy, he’s coached and mentored current Division I prospects Cole Anthony, Moses Brown and Khalid Moore. In addition to his wide range of community projects, he is also the Director of TEAM NYC, an emerging AAU boys travel organization founded in 2012.
In Francois own words, the “commitment is not limited to basketball; It’s a commitment for life.”