BRAD DAUGHERTY LAUNCHES HOOPS AGAINST HUNGER

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JTG Daugherty Racing team owner, ESPN analyst and former basketball star Brad Daugherty helped launch a campaign on Wednesday called Hoops Against Hunger to raise $1 million to fight hunger.

The first overall pick in the 1986 NBA Draft who wore the No. 43 to honor seven-time premier series champion Richard Petty helped provide more than 10,000 meals last Thanksgiving in Western North Carolina as part of his Brad Daugherty Foundation. In addition to working with Eblen Charities and the Southern Conference’s SoCon for Hoops Against Hunger, he plans to reach out to his basketball and NASCAR contacts to raise $1 million.

“I’m honored to have the opportunity to work with Eblen and the Southern Conference, and to provide a platform where we can feed our children,” Daugherty told the Asheville Citizen-Times.

The collection of food and funds will culminate with the SoCon Basketball Championships in March 2015 in Asheville, North Carolina.

At the annual Southern Conference Basketball media day at the Biltmore Estate, Daugherty also shared that he will return to covering basketball games, both college and NBA, beginning in December after ESPN’s NASCAR coverage ends in November.

Daugherty’s No. 47 team with driver AJ Allmendinger earned its first NASCAR Sprint Cup Serieswin at Watkins Glen International in August and advanced to its first Chase for the NASCAR Sprint Cup. The team was eliminated from NASCAR’s playoffs in the first round at Dover International Speedway.

SoCon shoots hoops against hunger

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ASHEVILLE, N.C. — The SoCon Basketball Championships are in town shooting hoops for wins-and also against hunger.

Hoops Against Hunger is a food program put on by Eblen Charities. They’ve set up at the U.S. Cellular Center for the SoCon tournament that runs through Monday.

“All the food that we collect will go to Buncombe County and Asheville City Schools, so children make sure they have enough to eat while they’re on Easter break and while they’re home for the holidays,” Bill Murdock, the executive director of Eblen Charities, said.

Its their second year at SoCon and their second chance to do something much bigger than the court.

“To make sure that no child is left hungry at home, because we know when you’re hungry, nothing else matters,” Murdock said. “One in five children in our community face hunger at some time while they’re at home.”

If you’re going to enjoy the tournament, Eblen Charities asks that you reach into your pantry and bring something with a shelf life, to feed a young life.

“It could mean whether or not one of our children, or one of our students in our community, has something to eat that day,” Murdock said.

Last year 10,000 pounds of food, along with thousands of dollars, were donated to Hoops Against Hunger.

Ready to take donations!

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The Eblen Charities Hoops against Hunger program is ready to take food donations today through Monday at the US Cellular Center during the SOCON basketball games! $5 off any basketball game for a donation of easy to prepare foods to benefit the students in our community who may not have enough to eat while away from school on longer breaks.