SAVANNAH, GA (WTOC) - Basketball players of all ages took their shot at winning a 3-on-3 tournament over the weekend, but what they were really doing was improving the summer for young children.
There were no misses at Savannah Country Day on Saturday - not with a full day of shots from all spots on the court. There was just one big hit of a basketball tournament.
"It feels amazing. We at Horizons love the cause that we're doing and to be able to see other people love the cause as well is an amazing feeling," said Katie Harris, Horizons Savannah Summer Program.
Helping low-income students continue to learn through the summer was the cause for the 4th Annual Louise Lauretti Hoops for Horizon Tournament. It raised money to provide scholarships to the Horizons Savannah summer program.
"It's a great fundraiser for the Horizons Program which brings kids out to Savannah Country Day, Bethesda, and St. Andrew's campuses for six weeks of summer school and activities," said Jim Dawson, Hoops for Horizons Tournament Director.
"We do help with summer learning loss, we do field trips, we widen horizons, that kind of thing, and we do it completely free for low-income students and it changes their trajectory forever. It helps them become the people they want to become," Harris said.
The trajectory of the shots was important to the 3-on-3 teams of various ages that participated in the tournament, but the real prize was knowing that everyone playing was helping provide opportunities for students in our area.
"It's so important because a lot of low-income students don't have access to good education, they don't have access to the materials they need," Harris said.
"It improves their reading skills by a total of two years over the seven or eight years they're in the program," Dawson said.
"It's not that they don't know how to succeed, it's that they don't have the tools. So, we get to offer those tools completely free and they go back to school miles ahead of their peers or even just on target, and it changes the entire year for them," Harris said.
Savannah basketball icons Dale Parker and Larry "Gator" Rivers were the co-chairs for this year's Hoops for Horizons event.