Baskets for backpacks

Students host charity basketball event to donate school supplies to LISD students

Junior+Aryan+Sharma+and+senior+Sai+Ramesh+have+been+friends+for+many+years+and+have+grown+close+over+their+mutual+passion+for+basketball.+While+they+don%27t+play+for+the+school+team%2C+their+passion+lead+them+to+start+H4O.
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Baskets for backpacks

Junior Aryan Sharma and senior Sai Ramesh have been friends for many years and have grown close over their mutual passion for basketball. While they don't play for the school team, their passion lead them to start H4O.

Junior Aryan Sharma and senior Sai Ramesh have been friends for many years and have grown close over their mutual passion for basketball. While they don't play for the school team, their passion lead them to start H4O.

Maya Hernandez

Junior Aryan Sharma and senior Sai Ramesh have been friends for many years and have grown close over their mutual passion for basketball. While they don't play for the school team, their passion lead them to start H4O.

Maya Hernandez

Maya Hernandez

Junior Aryan Sharma and senior Sai Ramesh have been friends for many years and have grown close over their mutual passion for basketball. While they don't play for the school team, their passion lead them to start H4O.

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Clothes were sprawled across the room as junior Aryan Sharma sat in a swivelly chair across from his good friend, senior Sai Ramesh. On this chilly December day, they were talking when Sharma brought up the idea of starting a charity. Ramesh, eager to help his friend out, jumped right into planning. Little did they know that within a few months, the idea would turn into a real charity organization for underprivileged students in the area. Hoop for Others, also known as H4O, provides school supplies to students in the district by raising funds through charity basketball events.
Sharma has always been interested in the idea of using his passion for basketball to make a difference. His desire to help others began in the fifth grade after reading a story in a Sports Illustrated magazine. In the story, someone started a charity based around basketball to help kids attend an elite private school. This motivated him to use his passion to create his own charity event.

“I have had the idea in my head for a few years, but this was the year that I could execute it,” Sharma said.

Before starting H4O, Ramesh and Sharma worked together on a walk for charity through the GDAS Cancer Clinic. Ramesh described that starting an organization from scratch has been a completely different experience.

“The fact that it’s our initiative at the end of the day is really fulfilling to us,” Ramesh said. “We’re going to make a tangible impact on the community and it’s really helping us grow as independent people.”

Sharma and Ramesh are both passionate about basketball and wanted to incorporate the sport into their charity. Their original idea was to hold basketball camps, but they decided that a tournament would be more impactful. They wanted to find a way to involve the community while also benefiting the kids.

“It’s often so hard to actually make a difference in people’s lives while also pursuing your passion, so I saw this as the perfect chance,” Ramesh said. “It’s the best of both worlds.”

The event is tentatively set for early August on campus. Several events are scheduled throughout the day including a three on three tournament, three point shooting contest and skills challenge.

The boys hope to have sponsors with booths set up around the gym. They have already secured Raising Cane’s as a sponsor and they will be holding a raffle during the event. H4O also has t-shirts that they are selling on their website that will go towards their cause. Their website is hoopforothers.com.

“The best way to help us out would be buying T-shirts and having donations,” Sharma said. “All the proceeds go towards backpacks and school supplies, so the more money we receive, the more we can supply to the kids and the more kids we can impact.”

Earlier, I thought that the world would forever be a place filled with problems, but H4O has changed my views in that I now believe the world is a place where solutions can be created no matter what the problem is.”

— Aryan Sharma, 11

Sharma and Ramesh have been working with LISD administrators and local businesses to finalize the details of the event.

“It’s been really hard getting in contact with the higher up administrators,” Ramesh said. “It’s a hurdle that’s kind of fun to overcome because it’s something that neither of us has done before.”

LISD has an annual back to school fair where they give school supplies to students in need. They plan to give the funds raised from the H4O event to help LISD buy more school supplies. Most of the funds will come from the registration fee, but they have also been contacting potential sponsors such as Chipotle and Chick-fil-A.

It all started in middle school when Sharma knew people who couldn’t afford to replace backpacks and school supplies they had from previous years. Before encountering this issue, Sharma thought that most kids were privileged, but meeting these people made him realize that he was ignorant. This issue hit close to home, so he wanted to do something to change that.

“Earlier, I thought that the world would forever be a place filled with problems, but H4O has changed my views in that I now believe the world is a place where solutions can be created no matter what the problem is,” Sharma said.

Sharma and Ramesh hope that their organization can grow over the years. While Ramesh will be going to Michigan State in the fall, he is hopeful that he can still be involved in planning some events. They both would like to branch out into benefitting other causes, such as anxiety and depression.

“I definitely hope that this is something that goes beyond just looking good on your resume,” Ramesh said. “There’s so much potential for this, and I can’t wait to see how it goes.”

When they first started this charity, they said they didn’t realize how rewarding it would be. According to Sharma and Ramesh, this process has helped them grow as people.

“Since freshman year, I’ve been preached that Flower Mound is a bubble. It’s one of the safest, most perfect towns in Texas, and even America,” Sharma said. “But if you look at the towns around us, they’re not prospering as much. [Starting H4O] really opened my eyes. I live in this pretty much perfect world, but not everyone is, so we should do as much as we can to help other people.”

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