NORFOLK, Va. (WAVY) – A local foundation is using its love of basketball to help those underserved in the Hampton Roads community.

Darius James and Dasean Webster started the 7CH Foundation to raise money and donations for the homeless.

“Basketball is one of my first loves, as well as my best friend Desean’s. We use the game, to use that love we have and that we know a lot of our peers have as well, to bring everyone together to make the community an overall better place,” James said.

The former ODU basketball player says this is the third year for their “Ball For a Cause” tournament. Each year, they select a different cause they want to help and originally started by collecting donations for victims of Hurricane Maria in Puerto Rico.

“We sent them directly to Isabella, Puerto Rico, where they created care packages and sent them to people who needed them,” James said.

Webster says many are excited to come back again and play this year.

“Last year, some guys from a church in Chesapeake won and they’ve just been bragging all year about it. It’s good for them to get a chacne to repeat it and for our friends to compete,” he said.

But it’s about more than bragging rights. Webster believes it’s a great way to give back to an issue that people sometimes don’t know how to help.

“Just driving to work or on your every day route to wherever you go, you see homeless people on the side of the streets asking for something. How many people have actually stopped to give them something? So, this is an opportunity to actually do something you like and also give back,” he said.

In order to play, players have to donate toiletry items that will be given to Union Mission Ministries.

James says registration has already reached capacitiy with around 70 people playing in the tournament.

He’s excited because many of the players are talented.

“It’s a fun thing. It’s competitive. It forces those guys to give back to the community in a way they probably didn’t think of. Ball For a Cause is a platform we created to give people an opportunity to give back,” James said.

If you’re not playing you can still donate by bringing toiletries or money.

The tournament is this Saturday, Feb. 29 at the Hampton Roads Kroc Center in Norfolk. The game starts at 1 p.m.

To learn more about the foundation, click here.

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