Bennett named first 'Head Coach' for Hoops2o program

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CHARLOTTESVILLE, Va. (CBS19 NEWS) -- The Hoops2o program, founded by former University of Virginia basketball player Malcolm Brogdon, has its first head coach.

The program, which is part of the Chris Long Foundation's Waterboys initiative, announced on Monday that UVA head basketball coach Tony Bennett would be joining it.

"I first heard about Hoops2o through Malcolm, when he founded the program last year," said Bennett. "Teaming up with Malcolm again was a no-brainer. He is one of the most generous, thoughtful leaders I know, and to join with him in serving those in need is very meaningful."

Bennett, who led the UVA team to its first-ever NCAA championship in 2019, joins UVA alums Chris Long, Justin Anderson, Kyle Guy, Joe Harris and De'Andre Hunter in a shared mission to bring water to one million people in need.

"I'm excited to work with the entire Hoops2o roster and bring this mission to NCAA basketball," added Bennett. "Just as NBA fans have rallied around the cause, I know our UVA and collegiate fans will join me in making a big impact for individuals and communities through the gift of clean water."

As a "Head Coach" for the program, a release says Bennett will help expand the footprint of Hoops2o to fans from the NBA to the collegiate level.

He will be doing this in part by raising awareness during the Dec. 8 matchup in Charlottesville against the University of North Carolina.

During that game, Bennett will be wearing a Hoops2o pin and pocket square as well as having the program highlighted during the in-game content.

Bennett and his wife are also funding a well project in Kenya that will provide water to about 8,700 people.

The release says this announcement is also being supported in the week leading up to the Dec. 8 game. Students, fans and alumni will be able to show their support in various ways, including following the Waterboys initiative on social media, visiting the Hoops2o booth that will be at the Lighting of the Lawn, attending the Hoops2o Beer release from Champion Brewing Company at Boylan Heights, or participating in the day-long social media "Game Changer" effort using the hastag #WaHoos2o and tagging three friends as well as @WaterboysOrg.

Former UVA and NFL football player Chris Long created the Waterboys Initiative in 2015.

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