Keep a Child Alive’s ASU chapter hosted the basketball tournament “Ballin’ for a Cause: a tournament to fight AIDS” at the Physical Education Building West to collect donations to benefit children in India and Africa who are affected by HIV and AIDS.
Devin Creer, a public relations and political science sophomore, is the president of the ASU chapter and the leader of the Southwest Regional Student Board for KCA.
The group also encourages people to become members. The ASU chapter is the only one in Arizona.
The group started last semester, and the tournament is the first major event besides holding screenings of the documentary, “Alicia in Africa: Journey to the Motherland.”
There were eight teams and each team had a $15 registration fee that went toward donations. With other donations added in, the tournament raised $150.
First-place winners received hats and shirts donated by the Phoenix Suns.
Mohammed Meghoufi, a senior at Desert Vista High School in Phoenix, was one of the winning “YMCA” team members, who were all high school students.
“It was pretty fun,” Meghoufi said. “It was a great experience and I learned a lot. ASU’s a nice campus.”
Jibran Charania, an economics freshman, was a participant on the “Game Over” team.
Charania said he wanted to participate because he loves basketball and played throughout high school.
“I think it’s a great cause and I’ve done actually a few charity events for basketball,” Charania said.
One other charity event he participated in was for breast cancer.
Nekiesha Johnson, a criminal justice sophomore at Glendale Community College, heard about the event from her cousin and was part of the “Red and Green” team.
“I think it’s pretty cool,” Johnson said. “Obviously you have a lot of people who like to play basketball. If you can charge them a little bit of money to help benefit AIDS, I think that’s a good idea.
Emmanuel Antelo, a first-year law student, said he heard about the event from other members in his fraternity, Delta Upsilon, and was part of the “Thunder Dan is en Fuego” team.
“Whenever you get a chance to play something that you like doing, like basketball, and also be able to assist and help a great cause, that seems like a no-brainer,” Antelo said.
Alicia Keys is one of the co-founders of the U.S. and United Kingdom organizations, and Creer said she became involved in the group at age 14 after seeing an ad in one of Keys’ albums.
“I went to her Web site and I saw the children that they have on there who are dying from AIDS and it’s so simple,” Creer said. “All they need is like a 20-cent vaccination or something and that could keep them alive.”
Here in the U.S., people can go to a clinic to get medicine and prolong their lives, but the children didn’t have a choice.
“I was really inspired by that and I wanted to make a difference somehow to help them so that … we don’t lose a generation to AIDS,” she said.
Joining the group has helped her put the world in perspective, Creer said.
“It showed that we can make a difference if we come together and actually work to prevent something,” she said.
Paul Singh, a business administration sophomore, is the vice president of the chapter.
Singh said he joined the group because it was a chance for him to make a difference in the world and get more involved in campus activities.
The group has about 20 members total and around 15 active members, he said.
“We would like to make a huge impact and make a difference in the lives of children in Africa and India and around the world,” Singh said.
Reach the reporter at email@example.com