- National Teams
The Joe White Classic returns this summer after a three year hiatus, paying tribute to the great, late, Joe White, who passed away from cancer in 2002.
Joe White was regarded by many as the best junior development coach in the UK and was one of the most respected figures in British basketball. The event will celebrate his life and achievements through a day of basketball featuring exhibition games, shooting competitions, and a dunk contest while raising money to support his family and the work of The Joe White Foundation.
Not only that, but some of British basketball’s biggest stars will be in attendance, including Great Britain and Chicago Bulls star Luol Deng.
“I’m so happy that I will be able to attend the Joe White Classic this year,” added Deng who played against Joe’s teams growing up with the Brixton Topcats. “Joe’s legacy still lives on as a great coach and person. I look forward to seeing the basketball community coming together to show support and respect to a truly great man.”
White was responsible for the development of GB’s Drew Sullivan and Pops Mensah-Bonsu and despite being unable to make the event both of them have paid tribute to their former coach.
“If it wasn’t for Joe I wouldn’t have achieved what I have done in basketball. More over I can honestly say I would have never achieved what I have done in life,” said Sullivan, who will be making his eighth appearance as a Great Britain Senior International this summer at Eurobasket.
“It is very difficult to put into words what he meant to me, he is the inspiration that has gotten me to where I am today,” said Mensah-Bonsu (pictured, right), a GB star who has forged himself a successful career in Europe, as well as stints in the NBA. “He introduced me to the game that changed my life, he taught me what it was to be a man at a young age. He was a father figure to all who needed it, reaching out to those less fortunate. He used the game of basketball as a platform to do good and inspire a generation.
“Every time I step on the court it is dedicated to him, wishing every second I am out there that he could be present to share my successes with me.”
The day will feature men’s and women’s exhibition games, wheelchair basketball, crowd participation games, awards, music and performances as well as special guest appearances.
The Joe White Classic will take place on Saturday 24th August 2013 at Crystal Palace, with admission being entirely free (donations welcome)! Doors open from 12, for more information and to register for tickets, visit joewhitefoundation.co.uk.
Make sure you come out and support!
Image Credit: GB Basketball