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a 501(c)3 non-profit organizaion

Hoops with Heart In The News

Los Angeles Daily News (11/11/13):

Sierra Canyon teens score a slam-dunk with athletic charity

Ethan Schuchmacher, Robbie Feinberg and Ben Messinger are students from Sierra Canyon High in Chatsworth who created a nonprofit organization they call Hoops with Heart. The goal is to raise money to buy athletic equipment for needy kids.The group recently donated 10 basketballs to the Boys and Girls Club.

Like a lot of 16-year-old boys, Ben Messinger loves basketball — he follows it, talks it, plays it.

But the junior at Sierra Canyon, a private school in Chatsworth, has taken his love of the sport to a higher level, founding a nonprofit that has raised more than $1,000 to buy athletic equipment for underprivileged kids.

“I was looking for a way to help out that would involve the community and fun events,” said Messinger, a forward on his school’s junior varsity basketball team. “Through my love of basketball, I came up with Hoops with Heart.”

Messinger filed the paperwork to obtain nonprofit status, designed the charity’s logo and created a Facebook page and the website To serve as Hoops’ vice presidents, Messinger tapped his best friends, Robbie Feinberg and Ethan Schuchmacher, who both play guard on the Sierra Canyon’s varsity team.

With Schuchmacher as the idea man and Feinberg as motivator in chief, the trio raised money through a videogame tournament and basketball shootout. The sale of Krispy Kreme doughnuts at school — classmates snapped up 16 dozen in just 10 minutes — brought in $380 more.

Some of the proceeds were used to buy 10 basketballs for the West Valley Boys & Girls Club in Canoga Park, where the teen trio also held an after-school skills camp for a couple dozen youngsters.

“It really means a lot,” said J.C. Arias, the club’s athletic coordinator. “We typically get two orders of basketballs a year, but they don’t last very long because we have so many kids using them. So to have these come when we didn’t expect it was really great.”

The decision to pick the Boys & Girls Club was easy. Messinger had spent time there as a volunteer, and Sierra Canyon has had projects with the organization.

“It was one of the greatest experiences of my life,” Feinberg said. “The kids were really appreciative and so excited. They all had huge eyes.”

Wanting to share their experience with others, Messinger opened a Hoops with Heart club at Sierra Canyon, and nearly 100 students joined.

Now, Schuchmacher hopes to start a chapter next year at the University of Washington, where he plans to study civil engineering.

Messinger and Feinberg have another year at Sierra Canyon, but they’ve already figured out that they, too, will carry on their work wherever they go to college as their younger brothers manage the charity at home.

Over the next couple months, Messinger and his buddies will be looking for other organizations to help and schools that want to join their effort.

“Our goal is to help kids develop a love for sports and to adopt a healthy lifestyle,” Messinger said. “It’s really been incredible seeing my dream become a reality.”

by Barbara Jones

Link to article: Click here

Featured article in the Northridge-Chatsworth Patch!

(October 23, 2013) Chatsworth Ballers Give Youngsters Hoop Dreams

Basketball players at Chatsworth's Sierra Canyon School have a pretty busy practicing schedule, but that didn't stop them from reaching out to local youngsters last week.

One teammate, 16-year-old Benjamin Messinger founded nonprofit organization Hoops With Heart.

As an inaugural effort, he and his teammates, through a fundraiser, saved up enough money to buy basketballs and donate them to West Valley Boys and Girls Club in Canoga Park.

"Our goal is not just to help kids develop a love of sports, but also to encourage them to adopt a healthy lifestyle,” says Messinger. “We want to improve kid’s lives on and off the court.”

The Sierra Canyon students made the donation on Oct. 18 and event spent some times teaching youngsters their moves.

All funds raised by the organization go toward purchasing basketballs and other sports equipment for in-need youth organizations. To make a donation, or for more information, visit the Hoops with Heart website and “like” their facebook page

Link to article: Click here

(Sept. 27, 2013) Hoops with Heart was featured once again in the Sierra Canyon Trailblazer, this time as the main headline! Ben, Ethan, Robbie, and Gabi talked to students about the mission of HwH and helped over 70 students sign up! 

(May 24, 2013) Sierra Canyon's The Trailblazer about the 1st Annual Hoops with Heart Basketball Shootout

On Wednesday, May 22nd, the Hoops with Heart Club at the Upper School hosted its first annual basketball shootout. Each contestant attempted five free throws and five three-pointers. Joey Epstein '18 won first place by making 9 shots, and Jamani Spencer '14 and Devearl Ramsey '16 took second and third place, making 8 shots each.

Hoops with Heart is an organization whose mission is to share the love of basketball with underprivileged children through mentoring by high school student-athletes. Their goal is also to raise funds to provide new sports equipment to organizations and schools in need.