Two years ago, outstanding Homewood-Flossmoor High School alumni Excell Hardy Jr. and Brian Nussbaum decided they’d use their talents at what they did best – team sports.
Today their program, Vikings United, is their dream come true.
These two alumni served as co-captains of H-F’s 2004 state champion runner-up basketball team. They cherish everything about the basketball program and what they learned from coach Roy Condotti. That’s what they want to give to kids today, said Nussbaum.
On Saturday, July 30, they and other H-F alumni are playing in the H-F Alumni Basketball Game. The tip-off for this fundraiser is 3 p.m. at H-F’s field house in the North Building.
Hardy and Nussbaum will be joined on the court by past H-F star players Julian Wright, Kevin Dillard, Cyrus Tate, Adam Dauksas, Supo Sanni, Jeremy Saffold and others.
All proceeds will support Vikings United’s expenses, such as uniforms, tournament registrations and organization expenses, said Nussbaum.
Vikings United is drawing south suburban kids from third grade through high school into the program that focuses on basketball as a way to teach healthy lifestyles, inspire leadership and encourage teamwork.
The organization is hosting boot camps this week for basketball players.
In addition, their TEAM Up program, run in conjunction with the H-F athletic department, is serving as the official boys basketball and baseball feeder program for H-F sports teams.
TEAM Up stands for Together Everyone Achieves More. Last year was the first year for the program, and Nussbaum said he expects several eighth graders from TEAM Up to try out for the freshman basketball team at H-F.
“We really wanted to do whatever we could to instill the values we were taught at H-F: How to act on and off the court,” Nussbaum explained.
Hardy, who is director of membership programming for the National Basketball Retired Players Association, and Nussbaum, a practicing attorney, have dedicated their off-hours to Vikings United. There are times when it seems as if their volunteer work is a second job.
“But once we get on the floor, that’s the fun part,” Nussbaum said.
Tickets for Saturday’s game are $10 at the door. Advanced tickets can be purchased at https://campscui.active.com/orgs/TeamUp#/selectSessions/1527703.
For information on the TEAM Up program, visit http://weteamup.org.