URI Athletics, National Grid Foundation Announce "Hoops for the Stars" Program

KINGSTON, R.I. -- The University of Rhode Island Athletic Department and the National Grid Foundation are proud to partner to establish the "Hoops for the Stars" program to create opportunities for solutions to educational issues within local inner-city elementary and middle schools.

Through a generous grant from the National Grid Foundation, URI Athletics will provide over 5,000 men's and women's basketball tickets to students and parents of the Hoops for the Stars program.  With assistance from the Cranston School Department, schools have been selected to participate in the program and within those schools, select students have been identified by teachers and principals for significant improvement using the following criteria: academic achievement, substantial increase in attendance, improvement in classroom behavior, and outstanding contributions to the surrounding community.

National Grid Foundation President Bob Keller said, “We are thrilled to be partnering with the University of Rhode Island to bring the Hoops for the Stars program to thousands of children in Rhode Island” Keller went on to say that; “URI’s Coaches and student athletes exemplify all of the qualities that we encourage in HFTS students; the values of hard work, scholarship and giving back to the community.”

"URI Athletics is excited to be partnering with the National Grid Foundation and Hoops for Stars program," URI Director of Athletics Thorr Bjorn said. "This program has been very successful with other athletic departments and will be a great reward for the hard-working students in our community. This partnership allows these special students the opportunity to see the positive outcomes of hard work and dedication in the classroom when they see our athletes competing at the highest level."

Mike Smith, president of the URI Foundation, which manages charitable donations on behalf of the University, said, “This latest partnership between URI and National Grid and the resulting impact it could have on Rhode Island youth, is yet another example of National Grid going above and beyond to help strengthen our community.  We are proud of our longstanding affiliation with this civic minded foundation and look forward to hosting Rhode Island students this season.”

The National Grid Foundation was created to enhance the quality of life in areas where National Grid provides services. The Foundation's ongoing challenge is to create opportunities for solutions to educational and environmental issues. Its objective is based on the principle that giving people the tools to build hope is an essential ingredient in the development of individuals, families and communities.