VIDEO: Four Friends Turn Love for Basketball into Big Bucks for Cancer Research
Glenbrook North Graduates team up to start "Cure it on the Court Foundation" and host the fourth annual North Shore 3-on-3 Summer Showdown at Joy of the Game.
By Nate Daugherty July 19, 2011
Glenbrook North graduate Zach Bulwa graduated in May from the University of Illinois with a bachelor's degree in biology, and eventually wants to become a doctor. While he's still got a few years before he actually starts practicing medicine, he just can't seem to wait to start contributing to the medical world—and he's doing it through basketball.
In 2008, Bulwa started the North Shore 3-on-3 Summer Showdown with the help of his three best friends, Shane Massel, Jason Krawetz and Matt Rosenberg. They held the fourth annual Showdown on Sunday at Joy of the Game, with all proceeds going to the University of Chicago Comer Children’s Hospital for pediatric cancer research.
Bulwa decided to start the tournament after spending time with doctors at the University of Chicago.
"I wanted to give back," Bulwa said. "I saw these children who had cancer and I saw the treatment and the research, the whole cycle from grants taken in to actual cures. Once you see that, it changes your life. So I felt like I needed to give back and the best way I thought to do that was through basketball, my other passion in life."
The 3-on-3 tournament eventually lead to the creation of The Cure it on the Court Foundation, which now also hosts another basketball league in Champaign and an annual golf outing.
"A long-term goal would be to have at least one event per month," Bulwa said. "We want it to be sponsored by the community, for the community, and for a charitable purpose."
Bulwa, Massel, Krawetz, and Rosenberg are all key members of the foundation, which has raised more than $15,000 in just two years. They also raised more than $5,000 in the first two years of the 3-on-3 showdown before the foundation began.
For these four childhood friends, it was an event from their past that helped get the whole thing started.
"The Northbrook 3-on-3 Jamboree was always something I played in growing up," Bulwa said. "That kind of inspired me to do this as well, because we would really like to bring that back."
"Growing up, there was a 3-on-3 tournament and that was pretty much our childhood," Massel said. "So we thought we might as well carry that on and make it a bigger event and an older event."
"I love basketball to the end of the earth," Krawetz said. "To be able to work with my friends is a pleasure. To be able to host sporting events is a pleasure. And the fact that we're able to really enjoy ourselves and benefit other people, it's as good as it gets."
The 3-on-3 tournament continues to grow each year and is now up to 30 teams and over 100 players. All participants paid a $25 entry fee, which contributes to the overall fundraising effort. However, most of the money is raised through local family and business donations. Josh's Hot Dogs in Northbrook was the Champion Sponsor this year, donating $1,000 to the foundation and providing food at the event.
For more on the 3-on-3 showdown and the continued growth of The Cure it on the Court Foundation, click on the video link above.