A number of current and former stars from the NBA and WNBA on Thursday announced the beginning of a program aimed at registering young basketball fans to vote ahead of the November elections.
Partnering with Rock the Vote, a nonpartisan voter registration organization, players and former coaches from the two leagues as well as media personalities marked the launch of "Hoopers Vote," a campaign that says it is "focused on unifying and amplifying the collective powerful influence of basketball culture and community, to help register, educate, and mobilize young Hoopers to vote, volunteer, and make their voices heard ahead of the 2020 election."
The initiative brings together former NBA stars such as Alex English, Jason Collins and James Worthy as well as WNBA greats such as Lisa Leslie and Nneka Ogwumike.
“Having and utilizing my right to vote means that I have a voice in running this country. Even though it’s only one vote, it’s important. One drop of water helps all the other drops create our oceans immense power," said English, a member of the Basketball Hall of Fame.
“For all the Hoopers around our country both young and old we need you to take your shot! Don’t miss it! Vote!” added Leslie, another Hall of Famer.
Rock the Vote's president added in a statement accompanying the press release that the entire basketball community recognized the political significance of the current moment, pointing to the league's decision to display the words "Black Lives Matter" on the court during games.
“From the words 'Black Lives Matter' on the parquet floor to players wearing 'Vote' shirts courtside, the basketball community understands the gravity of this moment,” said Carolyn DeWitt. “Hoopers Vote will harness the energy we’ve seen across the basketball family over the last several months into moving young people to take tangible actions like registering to vote, researching and casting their ballots.”