Virginia men’s basketball head coach Tony Bennett will partner with the Chris Long Foundation and its Waterboys initiative, according to a release by the organization.
Waterboys aims to bring clean water to communities in need. Since its inception in 2015, the initiative has delivered clean water to more than 330,000 people in Africa.
Long, a former Virginia football player and two-time Super Bowl champion, started the initiative and has added former UVa basketball players Malcolm Brogdon, Justin Anderson, Kyle Guy, Joe Harris and De’Andre Hunter to his team.
Bennett will help specifically with the Hoops2o program, which was founded by Brogdon. Bennett and his wife Laurel will help fund a well project in Kenya that will provide water to 8,700 people in the community.
“I learned so much about servanthood and gratitude during my time playing under Coach Bennett,” Brogdon said in a statement. “Having him on board ensures we will educate more fans about the need that exists in East Africa. It will strengthen the impact the UVa community and collegiate fans can have on the world water crisis.”
Additionally, Bennett will help raise awareness for the cause this week. During Virginia’s game against North Carolina on Sunday at John Paul Jones Arena, Bennett will wear a Hoops2o pin and pocket square. UVa will also have in-game content about the cause.
“I first heard about Hoops2o through Malcolm, when he founded the program last year,” Bennett said in a statement. “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.”
Hoops2o plans on being active around Virginia this week, with a booth set up for Thursday’s Lighting of the Lawn event. There also will be a Hoops2o beer release from Champion Brewing Company on Friday.
“I’m excited to work with the entire Hoops2o roster and bring this mission to NCAA basketball,” Bennett said. “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.”