KINGSTON, R.I. – For the fourth consecutive year, elementary and middle school students throughout the State of Rhode Island have participated in the National Grid Hoops for the Stars (HFTS) program. Thanks to the generous support of the National Grid Foundation (NGF), URI's HFTS program will seek to increase test scores, increase school attendance, encourage community service, and decrease behavioral issues using URI Men's and Women's Basketball tickets in the HFTS incentive program. As part of its community service goals, URI seeks to work with the NGF to enhance the Hoops for the Stars program by working with students in at-risk elementary and middle schools.
To address these issues, more than 6,000 tickets will be awarded this year as incentives through HFTS to help URI's program reach its goals. To stress the importance of academic achievement, URI's HFTS students will also be asked to write an essay on "What their dreams are and how performing in the classroom will help them achieve their goals." Winning essays will be chosen by URI's coaching staff; winners will receive a visit by URI men's basketball head coach Dan Hurley and women's head coach Daynia La-Force, who will speak to the students about the importance of academics and committing to doing well in the classroom. In addition, both URI Men's and Women's Basketball players will make additional appearances at participating school districts. Finally, URI will also work with local school districts to select one student from each classroom as part of the "Rising Stars" component of the HFTS program.
As part of the HFTS program on Tuesday, January 18, the students at Pocasset Elementary School attended a special assembly hosted by the URI men's basketball team, including senior forward Hassan Martin and junior guards Jared Terrell and E.C. Matthews. They spoke to the students about the importance of teamwork and working hard in school while also delivering an anti-bullying message. They discussed how all those traits will help open the door for their future.
On February 25, Hoops for the Stars students along with National Grid Foundation President Bob Keller and Pocasset PTO President Jocelyn Sherman were recognized on the court during the men's basketball game versus Virginia Commonwealth University in front of a capacity crowd.
Hoops for the Stars will wrap up its in-season programming for this year at the final URI home game on Saturday, March 4 with the presentation of the Rising Star trophies to our most active students. After the season the program will continue with additional visits to local elementary schools that participated in the year's program.