Charity event to be held at Los Osos Saturday

The fight against cancer is personal for Los Osos High School boys basketball coach Dave Smith. Five years ago he was diagnosed with Stage 4 Colo-Rectal and given 12-18 months to live.

Well he is now cancer free, and trying to help those afflicted by the disease.

He has started the Hoops for Hope charity event which will be held on Saturday at Los Osos High School. It will feature 10 teams, mostly from area fire departments. They’ll play in a double-elimination basketball tournament, the first game set for 10 a.m. and the final taking place about 5:30 p.m.

It’s a family event with music, a bounce house for kids and concessions also available.

Each team is paying $750. There is no “admission” charge but a suggested $10 donation at the door. The event has raised $90,000 in the previous four years so Smith expects the running total to easily eclipse six figures this year.

Proceeds go toward San Antonio Hospital Cancer Research Center and City of Hope as well as a third local designation.

The Ontario, Rancho Cucamonga and Chino fire departments have participated every year. Among the other entrants are San Bernardino County fire and San Antonio Hospital. Los Osos will also have a team of coaches participating.

Smith says he’d like to possibly expand the event in the future to include 12 teams. There was talk of having two sites if enough teams entered but Smith would prefer not to break it up into two.

He also started the event in honor of Chip Smith, a former Ontario firefighter who was undergoing treatment at the same time he was but wasn’t fortunate enough to survive. He passed away the night of the first tournament.