July 14, 2015
3-on-3 tournament gives men and boys a chance to make a difference in the lives of young women
In the Sacramento Mercy home that houses up to 40 young women at any one time, men are rarely present. In fact, many girls there have suffered at the hands of abusive men. But, a new male-only basketball tournament intends to be a game-changer on the path to these girls’ healing.
The first-ever Men of Mercy 3-on-3 Tournament is scheduled for Saturday, August 15 at Courtside Basketball Center in Rocklin, Calif. Meant to give men and boys an exclusive opportunity to support Mercy, the all-day basketball event will help raise funds needed for the care and counseling provided to the young women at Mercy who are dealing with issues such as physical and sexual abuse (including sex trafficking), eating disorders, self-harm, drug and alcohol addictions, depression and unplanned pregnancy.
“After several successful Run for Mercy 5K & Family Walk events, it’s become obvious that the Sacramento area community is athletic and likes to be on the move,” said Kerri Phillips, Mercy Community Relations and Development Manager. “We wanted to give our community another opportunity to be healthy and support our work here at Mercy, but do it in a way that specifically highlights the many amazing men who desire to make this community safe,’” Phillips said.
Mercy will co-host the tournament with the Sacramento Kings NEXT Program to include 3rd-12th grade boys’ youth divisions. “We are unbelievably thankful for the partnership with the Kings NEXT Program,” said Phillips. “By adding the youth brackets, we look to make Men of Mercy a family-friendly event.”
Beyond the tournament, the two organizations align in their mission to promote hope and wellness in the community. “We chose to partner with Mercy because of our alignment of values and goals to do good and make an impact on our community,” said Beth Gelender, Sacramento Kings NEXT Manager.
Through its many events including camps, clinics and enrichment programs, the Kings NEXT initiative helps community youth learn fundamental life skills on and off the court. Similarly, the Mercy program helps young women find freedom from their issues and empowers them to serve in their communities as productive citizens.
Since 1983, Mercy has served over three thousand young women in its four U.S. locations, including Lincoln, Calif.; Nashville, Tenn.; Monroe, La.; and St. Louis, Mo. The program is completely free of charge for the girls who apply. “It’s important for our residents to know that we genuinely care and are not making money off of their problems,” said Phillips. “So, we raise all the financial support for our program through private funding.”
Roseville businessman Joe Flores of Flores & Associates Insurance Services sees the value in supporting and participating in the Men of Mercy tournament. “We are proud to sponsor a Men of Mercy basketball team,” said Flores. “It’s a good way to show our youth the importance of giving back to our community in a fun, interactive manner.”
Every registrant will receive a free ticket to a Sacramento Kings game for the 2015-2016 season. Tournament age divisions include: 3rd-5th gr.; 6th-8th gr.; 9th-12th gr.; ages 18-30; over 31. Teams can have a maximum of six players.
As a precursor to the Men of Mercy Tournament, the Sacramento Kings will host a Men of Mercy Mixer at the Experience Center (XC) on Friday, July 24th. Guests will participate in a guided tour of the XC led by the Kings staff and then hear from a Mercy graduate who will share her inspirational story of transformation during a complimentary reception. This is a limited-seating, RSVP-only event.