If you are a Filipino Hooper in San Diego, you know Jesse Bautista and his family.
They're the family that eats, sleeps, and breaths basketball. Every day for 10 years Jesse would train youth players at the local parks nearby for FREE. On weekends, he'd bring the Filipino basketball community together to play in structured rec games so that kids and adults had somewhere to call their own and feel as though they belong. He got close with so many people that everyone started calling him 'Uncle Jesse'. This man did it all.
One day, one of our most respected Team Hoopery Brand Ambassadors who also happens to be Uncle Jesse's daughter, Jessica (IG: @__jesbickuh), needed more time to pay for her gear. She needed more time because she had to help Uncle pay for their mom's medicine. Their mother has been battling cancer for years. On top of that, all recreational gyms in California were closed for the last 3 months so many of the active players in the community had no where to play. It forced the San Diego Philippine Basketball league to go on a long hiatus.
This absolutely shock us to the core. The Hoopery team couldn't let this family go through this alone and we knew we had to take action. We launched our 'Homeland' Collection for 1 week. No preparation, no ads, no photoshoots. Just a good cause to help our own FAMILY. As a COMMUNITY we were able to raise $3,000 USD.
We surprised Uncle at the park where he trains kids everyday with an impromptu Filipino Heritage Month Interview. In reality, we wanted to surprise him by giving the $3,000 personally. Everyone that showed up came to support the Bautista family. Everybody was in on the actual plan. Uncle's reaction was priceless, and is a reminder to count your blessings. We want to thank those who purchased 'Homeland' gear because without you this whole event couldn't have happened.
Check out our interview with Jesse Bautista as we discuss his involvement with the SDPBL and how much he loves the sport of basketball, just as we all do.