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Community outreach

Belfast boys basketball team helps fan battle cancer

Lion supporter, BAHS graduate Rich Hopkins receives monetary gift to help with cost of health care
By Zack Miller | Feb 01, 2019
Courtesy of: Tim Doran Belfast boys basketball team captions Grady Doolan, Wilder Magruder and Jason Bartlett, along with team managers Leann Wiseman and Aaliyah Hopkins,with  Rick Hopkins, middle back.

Belfast — It is always better to give than to receive.

That is something Belfast Area High School boys basketball program team members and their coach believe.

Thus, the Lions have given back to a community member, who has been a fan of the school's athletic teams for a long time, but now deals with health issues.

Rick Hopkins, a graduate of BAHS, is in treatment as he battles cancer.

Hopkins received a gift of $300 from the Lions to help with his medical treatment and bills.

The loyal fan was presented the money on Tuesday, Jan. 29 before Belfast's home game against Oceanside of Rockland.

Lion coach Marty Messer said Hopkins recently was diagnosed with cancer. " He has displayed a tremendous amount of courage, perseverance and love as he has continued to battle this disease," the coach said. "He continues to be a great role model to student-athletes and community members."

Team captains Grady Doolan, Wilder Magruder and Jason Bartlett, along with team managers Leann Wiseman and Aaliyah Hopkins, presented the donation to Hopkins.

"On behalf of our Belfast varsity basketball program, we are happy to give back some support to a loyal fan who has shown Belfast teams support for a long time," said Doolan.

"I have a team that loves to play basketball, but, as a coach, I'm always looking for opportunities for the team to learn and experience life-lessons," said Messer. "By working hard to support our program, traditionally we like to donate to a worthy cause and support the community that supports us. They truly feel the reward for giving and putting others ahead of themselves."

Messer said the team raised money for the boys basketball program with an annual shoot-a-thon, and also popcorn sales through Great American Opportunities, with a portion of money raised donated to Hopkins and his family.

"The experience was our pleasure to help Rick," said Messer.

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