Hoops for the Troops clinics fills 14 trucks

The  Hoops for the Troops Summer clinics managed to collect enough donations of food and toiletries to pack 14 large U.S. postal boxes full of goods for the soldiers serving overseas.

The program is run by Joe Meade, director of Hoopskills Basketball, who is a former high school and college coach and currently a college scout for the NBA’s Utah Jazz.

The skills development program for boys and girls age 8-14 is in its second year of operation.

The July program ran on Wednesday nights at the Parsons Gymnasium in Milford. The skills clinics and 3 on 3 tourney has become a popular program in Milford and the surrounding towns.

Participants were asked to bring donations to each of the five sessions and the kids wrote letters to the troops and packed all the collected items at the final session on July 30.

“The turnout was excellent and the generosity of the families was astounding” Meade said. “The kids enjoyed packing their own care packages and really worked well together.”

The final session was capped off by a drawing for a basketball autographed by former New York Knick Larry Johnson.

“A friend donated the ball when he heard about the program,” Meade said. “The lucky winner was Erin Donegan an eight-year-old girl from Milford and first-time Hoopskills participant. It was a fitting ending to a great month of basketball.”

Hoopskills has partnered with Soldier Socks to help get the donations into the hands of the soldiers.

Soldier Socks collects donations and assists wounded soldiers in getting state of the art prosthetics and wheelchairs to assist them in transitioning back to civilian life.

The next Hoopskills Basketball program is scheduled for this fall. For more information about upcoming programs go to hoopskillsbasketball.com. To learn more about Soldier Socks go to soldiersocks.com.