Right now teenagers can’t play basketball at a park, but they can play video game basketball at home while helping fight against COVID-19.
Scarsdale High School Juniors Noah Weber and Max Roth love playing NBA 2K20 and they love helping their community so these friends decided to combine their passions.
"The idea kind of formulated from being stuck in quarantine playing a lot of NBC 2k," said Weber.
"We knew that the hospital needed some help and we could possibly give them help,” Roth said.
So the pair created a tournament. After paying an entry fee, each contestant gets two guaranteed games of five-on-five video game basketball. The grand prize: The winning team gets to play and talk virtual trash against NBA star Larry Nance Jr in a championship match.
"He’s a great guy so he wanted to do whatever he could to help out White Plains,” Weber said. The Cleveland Cavaliers forward and Noah are friends, after having started a nonprofit called Athletes vs Crohn's & Collitis. The two figured that a video game tournament raising money to help White Plains Hospital would be a slam dunk.
"We just thought whatever we can do to help the hospital. In this time, they would take anything,” Weber said.
The hope was to raise a couple thousand dollars to help fight COVID-19. So far, this team has raised nearly $70,000.
"Donations kept like pouring in and people really stepped up. It was amazing to see,” Roth said.
Why did the teens choose to help White Plains Hospital? For Noah, it’s personal — his father is a doctor there.
“I would come home from the hospital and talk about what’s happening during the pandemic,” said Dr. Karre Weber, the director of surgery at White Plains Hospital.
His other title is Noah’s father — and he could not be more proud of his son and the entire tournament team.
"Any amount can have an impact, but to think these kids could rally our community and raise over $70,000 is going to have a tremendous impact on the health of the hospital going forward,” Dr. Weber said.
The championship game against Larry nance Junior is Monday, April 27. For more information, go to the event's website.