The Hoop Group celebrated their 50th summer of basketball May 12, 2012.
The words of Hoop Group President Rob Kennedy from the charity gala banquet and Sports Auction program:
“On behalf of the entire Kennedy family as well as the Hoop Group family, I want to welcome you to this special tip off celebration of our 50th year of summer basketball camps.
Who could have known 50 years ago that Bob Kennedy’s dreams and visions would grow into what the Hoop Group has become today. With the help of my Mom, Pat, they built much more than a business. They built a spirit.
That spirit has allowed the ever changing and growing Hoop Group to stand the test of time. Very few businesses ever have the chance to celebrate a golden anniversary. We are celebrating our 50th today because of the incredible people like you who have helped nurture that special spirit which defines the Hoop Group.
Jimmy Valvano was certainly one of those special people who helped shape the history of our camp and our spirit. If I close my eyes, I can see him speaking on the shade courts as if it were yesterday with his super rat on the skateboard. Today, his spirit lives on through the V Foundation for cancer research. Your presence and generosity today will help keep that spirit alive.
Finally, a sincere thank you to each of you for all you have done for the Hoop Group and my family. I hope that you have a great time reconnecting with old friends tonight and reliving those special Hoop Group memories that last a lifetime.”
HOOP GROUP MILESTONES
Bob Kennedy starts running summer basketball camps at the CYO camp in Trenton, NJ
Lou Carnesecca starts his run at camp.
Bob and Pat Kennedy purchase Camp Dent in Cherry Valley, PA. Pocono Invitational is born!
US Women’s Olympic team comes to camp and scrimmages the Pocono staff. Olympic team led by Pocono Invitational’s Gail Marquis & Sue Rocjewitz win Silver in Montreal.
Bob and Pat Kennedy start the Wade Trophy, the “Heisman” for women’s college basketball. Carol Blazejowski wins first award.
Jim Valvano travels in style. He lands in a helicopter on the court in the Poconos in the middle of camp.
After winning the national title at Villanova coach Rollie Massimino comes to lecture at camp.
Eastern Invitational camp was acquired by Hoop Group. The camp would later be renamed into Hoop Group Elite Camp.
Hoop Group starts running grassroots tournaments with Felipe Lopez and Zendon Hamilton headlining the All American Cage Classic, which was the precursor to Jam Fest Tournaments.
The #1 player in the country Tim Thomas plays in front of a sold out crowd of 5,000 fans at the Lehigh Valley Showcase, Hoop Group’s 1st High School Showcase event.
Hoop Group moves their office to Shrewsbury NJ
Hoop Group moves to Neptune and takes over Rebounds making it Hoop Group Headquarters.
Kyrie Irving wins MVP at Hoop Group Elite Camp
Hoop Group Skills Camp Director Bob Hurley is elected into the basketball Hall of Fame.
Hoop Group Alumni John Wall is selected #1 in the NBA Draft
14 Hoop Group Alumni are 1st Round NBA Draft Picks and 7 are lottery picks
The first coach to ever lecture at camp, Herb Magee is inducted into the basketball Hall of Fame.