The 2010 college basketball season might have ended, but that doesn’t mean the Vanderbilt Commodores don’t have nets on their mind. This time, they’re thinking about malaria nets, and they’re ready to use their coaching skills to make a difference. This Saturday, April 17, the Commodores will be holding the “Dores for Nets” basketball tournament to raise funds for Nothing But Nets. The event will be a 3×3 basketball tournament for 3-8th grade boys, each team coached by a different Vanderbilt player. The draw is that the teams that raise more money for Nothing But Nets get a higher pick in a draft of Vanderbilt basketball players to coach their team for the day.
The “Dores for Nets” tournament is a new experiment for Vanderbilt, but it’s definitely not the first tournament of its kind. Last year, members of the Davidson University basketball team held a 3×3 tournament that raised $16,000 for Nothing But Nets. When Vanderbilt player Joe Duffy learned about the tournament from some of his friends on the Davidson team, he wanted his own team to do something similar. Duffy heard about Nothing But Nets from the original inspiring Rick Reilly column, so he enthusiastically pitched the idea of a “Dores for Nets” tournament at Vanderbilt. Duffy’s teammates ran with the idea, and saw it as a good cause and an opportunity to spend a day with kids who are excited about basketball. The idea of using basketball to fight malaria has been especially meaningful to sophomore forward Steve Tchiengang, who has had malaria more than once in his life. Tchiegang, who grew up in Cameroon, understands the magnitude of the malaria crisis and the importance of bed nets.
A silent auction will also be held during the week of the tournament. For more information, check out http://doresfornets.weebly.com/. Hats off to the Dores for Nets participants for sinking nets and saving lives!