KHPR student organization hosts basketball tournament to raise scholarship funds

By Mary Murphy

The Kinesiology, Health Promotion and Recreation Professionals (KHPRos) student organization hosted its third annual Mean Green Madness basketball tournament this spring semester, raising $500 to help fund scholarships for students in the KHPR department, part of UNT’s College of Education.  

KHPRos is a networking organization that help KHPR students connect with professionals in their future career fields. The organization often brings in guest speakers from various areas of the KHPR field, many of whom provide KHPRo members with internship or shadowing opportunities. The KHPRos also have hosted 5K fun runs, small fundraisers and previous Mean Green Madness tournaments.

Last year’s Mean Green Madness raised $200 for scholarships, and the amount was matched by the dean of students. Over the past two years, the KHPRos have raised more than $1,000 total for KHPR student scholarships.

“I have enjoyed seeing how the tournament grows and improves every year,” said Danielle Blankenship, KHPRos outgoing vice president. “Each year we have more participants, more sponsors and donations, and therefore we raise more money for scholarships.” 

According to Blankenship, the basketball tournament is a valuable experience for KHPRo members because it teaches them event management skills such as how to get sponsors and promote an event.

Nicholas Romero, KHPRos president, said the tournament gives students an opportunity to relieve some of their end-of-semester stress, have fun and make new friends. Romero said he enjoys the competition and sportsmanship the students show during the tournament.

“I see people who are out there competing, and they want to win, but they’re also good sports about it,” Romero said. “If someone gets tripped up, other players aren’t walking away, they’re helping them up. When a player gets a good shot in, other teams will actually give them a handshake or high-five and tell them, ‘Wow, that was a great shot’.”

Twelve teams participated in Mean Green Madness this year, each of which had three to five players. The tournament was open to anyone 18 years or older, but most of the team members were UNT graduate and undergraduate students. Teams were also allowed to hold informal practices on their own before the big day since there weren’t any scheduled practices for the tournament.

This year’s winning team received gift cards to Dickey’s Barbeque, Cartwrights, Cowboy Chicken, Hoochies and Recycled Books; a gym bag from Boot Barn filled with miscellaneous items; and champion T-shirts.

Romero said he hopes the Mean Green Madness tournament will continue to grow, gain more participants and raise more money for scholarship funds. He also hopes the event becomes more well-known campuswide.

“I just hope that next year is an even greater year,” Romero said. “I’m always hoping it gets bigger and better to where every student in school, when they hear Mean Green Madness, they’ll think, ‘Oh, yeah, the KHPRo fundraiser? I’m going to sign up for it!’ That’s what I’m hoping for.” 

Top photo, members of UNT's KHPRos student organization; bottom photo, the Mean Green Madness basketball tournament's winning team, The Raptors.