Hoops for Hope in King of Prussia
KING OF PRUSSIA, Pa. - July 31, 2010 (WPVI) -- Countless 16-year-old boys dream of playing basketball for a living, Austin Gutwein plays basketball for life.
Austin was just 9 years old when he saw a film about children, many his age, orphaned by AIDS in Africa.
"Back then I didn't know what AIDS was, I just knew I wanted to do something to make a difference in the world," Austin said.
So, rather than moving on to the next pre-teen preoccupation, Austin did what he knew best. He picked up a basketball with the hopes of helping through raising money from family and friends by shooting free-throws.
Well, it worked.
In the 7 years since he saw that film, Austin has raised a staggering $1.8-million.
CEO of Synergy Production Group in Nashville, Tennessee, Carl Taylor, heard Austin speak about his work and put his company to work for Austin.
"Here's a man who has something to say, a young kid who wants to do something and we say, it may not be my idea, but how can we help him?" Taylor said.
Together, they created the Hoops for Hope All-Star event that tours the country, hosting free-throw free for alls like the one this weekend in King of Prussia. This one had 150 free-throw shooters, inspired by Austin.
It doesn't matter how many shots the players make. What matters is how many they take. That number? 500 in two hours, which, for those keeping track, is (give or take) one shot every 10 seconds.
The goal is to raise $100,000 in the Delaware Valley. In one day.
If Austin is any evidence, it's a shot worth taking.
pennsylvania, montgomery county, AIDS, local/state, brian taff
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