The Hoops for Hope charity basketball tournament will have doubled in size since last year when the third annual event happens Saturday at Los Osos High School. The event to raise money for cancer research inspired by Los Osos boys basketball coach David Smith, who has been cancer-free for 30 months, and former Ontario Fire Department captain Chip Smith, will feature 10 teams.
After the event raised nearly $20,000 in 2010 and $16,000 last year, Smith is hoping the addition of five teams to the tourney will help raise more than $20,000 for San Antonio Hospital and City of Hope cancer center.
Along with the original four teams from the Chino, Rancho Cucamonga, Ontario and Upland fire departments, and the Montclair Fire Department team that won the tournament in its debut last year, there will be teams from the San Bernardino County, Ontario Airport and Arcadia fire departments as well as San Antonio Hospital, and AMR ambulance company.
Chip Smith, who like David Smith was diagnosed with stage four colorectal cancer, died on the same night the Ontario Fire Department won the tournament in 2010.
“When Chip passed away the first year, I wanted to do this to remind people how quickly things can change,” Smith said. “Obviously I’m thankful just to be here to do this. I’m 30 months cancer-free and if you told people 30 months ago that I’d be here, nobody would have believed you. We’re hoping this continues to grow and six years from now we’re talking about the 10th anniversary.”