NORFOLK, Va. (WAVY) — Two former Virginia Beach basketball players are using their love of the game to give back to the community.
This weekend, the 4th-annual “Ball for a Cause” tournament will take place at the Kroc Center in Norfolk, 1401 Ballentine Blvd.
The foundation organizing the event, 7CH Foundation, was started by friends and former Tallwood High School teammates DaSean Webster and Darius James.
“It started back in 2017 with Hurricane Maria down in Puerto Rico. My wife has family in Puerto Rico. We decided to a basketball tournament and collect non-perishable food items to send down there. That’s how Ball for a Cause and the foundation started,” said James.
Four years later, they’re teaming up with the organization to collect 10,000 diapers for the holidays to help parents in need.
“It’s a lot going on,” said James. “Like I said, everyone has their own battles they’re facing individually. For us to do something that’s positive and help someone in need, it means a lot.”
It also means a lot to the two who are using their passion for the sport to give back.
The two met playing basketball years ago and have been best friends ever since.
Webster, who is the creative director for the organization, says basketball helped keep him out of trouble when he was growing up in Brooklyn.
“My whole life, everything was about basketball. To have it mesh and do something for the community as well, that’s good,” he said.
But the basketball tournament isn’t the only way the 7CH Foundation is working to help the community.
This past year, they held “College Park Day,” in the neighborhood they grew up in as a back-to-school giveback for kids. They gave away backpacks and school supplies.
“With giving back to the community, if you can, why not? We don’t have much. We have kids. We have other jobs. We have lives going on,” Webster said. “Just to give back and see everyone embrace it, people knew me from being a basketball player at Tallwood to now — that’s the kid that did the tournaments and gave us school supplies. It’s nice from the community.”
COVID pushed back the tournament this year but Webster and James are excited to be able to have it anyway.
“I’m looking forward to seeing all of my friends playing basketball. With COVID this year, people were just staying home. We didn’t see a lot of people. But everyone will be able to come out, enjoy themselves, support a cause and compete, which it all goes hand in hand,” Webster said.
There are two team spots still available for this Sunday’s tournament.
The event starts at 10 a.m.
If you do not play basketball, you can still come out and watch. You’re asked to donate diapers or a monetary donation.
It is being held at the Ray and Joan Kroc Center in Norfolk.