Last weekend, many of your favorite television, movie and music stars took a break from the bright lights and came to the state of Delaware for a weekend of service for a good cause.
There was a lot of fun to be had too!
On August 1 and 2 Duffy’s Hope Inc. hosted their 12th Annual Duffy’s Hope Celebrity Basketball game weekend at the University of Delaware’s Bob Carpenter Center, as well as at Delaware State University.
Duffy’s Hope was founded by basketball enthusiast, Duffy Samuels who took his passion and love for both the game of basketball and his community and channeled it into an organization comprised of dedicated, hardworking volunteers that are committed to providing a helping hand to Delaware youth.
The weekend featured notables like BET 106 & Park’s Keshia Chanté, rapper/actor Romeo, Jay Ellis from BET’s The Game, Allie DeBerry from Disney’s A.N.T. Farm, VH1’s McKinley Freeman, Lamman Rucker of Tyler Perry’s Why Did I Get Married, BET’s Let’s Stay Together’s Christian Keyes, Delaware’s own D.J. Mifflin from Sleepy Hollow. Hoopers Tammy “T-Time” Brawner and Hot Sauce also took part in the festivities.
“Man it’s great,” Romeo told The Source. “I was actually filming another movie, but I came out here. I promised the kids that I was going to play for them and that’s what it’s all about.”
The weekend began with Duffy’s Hope, Inc. hosting their 2nd Annual Evening of H.O.P.E. Reception on Friday, August 1. The reception honored contributors and community members for their philanthropic endeavors. Day Two of the weekend continued as Duffy’s Hope held a Teen Summit Panel with over 500 kids at Delaware State University in Dover, Delaware. Keshia Chanté, host of BET’s 106 & Park was the keynote speaker.
“This was my first time in Delaware,” Keshia Chanté tells The Source.
Chanté gave her insight on her motivation to succeed, along with the value of a quality education. She also emphasized the importance of staying goal oriented. “The kids are amazing—I felt that they were listening and that’s all that matters,” she said. The panel continued with a Q&A with Allie DeBerry, McKinley Freeman, Jay Ellis, Raven Goodwin Tammy “T-Time” Brawner and D.J. Mifflin. “Everyone here has been so welcoming and so friendly,” said Allie DeBerry. “I think that the kids are really benefiting.
McKinley Freeman likes that the kids got to know him as a person and that he added value to the panel: “At the end of the day, never undervalue what you bring to the table,” he said.
“That’s exactly what the world needs.”
The weekend’s grand finale was the much anticipated Celebrity Basketball Game. The Source Magazine was one of the many corporate sponsorships involved with Duffy’s Hope. Other brands included Moneyball Sportswear, Reebok, United Way of Delaware, City of Wilmington, New Castle County Government, Herr’s Foods, Delmarva Power, Hilton—Wilmington/Christiana, Erotique, Unico Vino, From Mother’s Garden, Strength of Nature House of Brands, Delaware 87ers and Movement Magazine.
The Celebrity Team took on the Local Team, a team comprised of local teachers, police officers, firemen and local government officials. Typically, Jay Ellis wows his fans on the football field as Blue, the San Diego Sabres’ standout wide receiver on BET’s hit show, The Game. But on this day, he switched it up with shorts, sneakers and a tank top. He enjoyed being part of a weekend that is focused on inspiring kids. “The opportunities and the access that these kids have today is so amazing,” Ellis tells The Source. Ellis admits that he never had a host of celebrities come to his community and speak about what it takes to make it. Nevertheless, he’s happy that kids in had the opportunity to get solid advice from stars who made it. “They’re getting advice that we didn’t get and they’re getting to ask questions that we didn’t get to ask to celebrities or doctors or lawyers.”
The celeb game was entertaining, but Team Local was no match for Team Celebrity. The Celeb team held a twenty point lead at halftime. Hot Sauce brought the crowd to their feet toying with Team Local with his crafty ball handling and crossover dribble. He got the crowd excited when he caught his opponent with his boomerang fake out. “That’s my patented move,” he said with a grin.
Tammy “T-Time” Brawner, the first woman to suit up for the Harlem Globetrotters played for Team Celebrity and was even fashionable. She rocked knee high socks with a design of a bag of Cheetos and Chester Cheetah embroidered on them: “Somebody made them for me,” she said. “They’re my favorite snack.”
Lamman Rucker, is usually on set in TBS’s Meet The Browns. But last Saturday afternoon, homeboy looked like a modern day Charles Barkley! A former Division 1 student/athlete at Duquesne, Rucker muscled his way in the post and scored at will. “I pulled out my high knee socks and it’s all about underhand jumpers, sky hooks and I took it real old school on them,” Rucker told The Source.
The Local Team came back late in the game, but weren’t able to steal the win. Team Celebrity stuck with their game plan and nabbed a 57- 46 victory.
The game was entertaining as fans got the opportunity to meet celebrities, get autographs and take selfies for the’ gram. But more importantly, it gave people the opportunity to learn from stars that have come from similar backgrounds. “Hopefully this means inspiration and motivation,” said Christian Keyes. “I hope that they can see you can get to where you want with hard work. There’s no substitute for hard work.”
This year’s 12th Annual Duffy’s Hope Celebrity Event was powered by Love Logan Productions. It serves an average of 3,500 spectators; and the annual Celebrity Basketball Game has become the major resource of promoting the importance of adult involvement and financial support of youth based prevention programs. “By bringing together families and communities, we are working to change a generation,” Duffy Samuels tells The Source.
“The event also encourages youth to overcome obstacles and always strive for excellence in all areas of their lives.”
Norman Bradley Was The Events Official Photographer. Check Out The Slideshow From the Duffy’s Hope Weekend