It’s All-Star weekend 2011 and Los Angeles is buzzing. At NBA Jam Session, agents, photographers, managers, entourages, and eager fans crowd every inch of open space, anxious to get a glimpse of the action. At 6 feet 5 inches tall, Felipe Lopez is definitely not the tallest, the biggest, or even the most athletic person in attendance. However, as his peers will quickly tell you, there is little doubt that he has one of the biggest hearts. Once touted the best high school basketball player in the country, the Dominican Republic native and former NBA star has taken the spirit of “giving back” to a whole new level. Selfless in every meaning of the word, Lopez has transitioned roles from player to mentor, teaching more than one hundred school aged children the game of basketball, without charging them a dime. “Felipe is a flame,” explains HSBCAMPS Founder Carson Sofro; “A flame that will hopefully one day spread like wildfire throughout the entire NBA community. He is a diamond in the rough.”
Felipe’s passion for others stems from his love for his son and desire to create opportunities that were absent during his own childhood. Though for many, All-Star weekend is about parties and glamour, for Lopez, it’s all business. Running from appearances and interviews, to clinics and events, the highlight of Felipe’s weekend is not the lights of Hollywood, but rather the faces of the hundreds of young people he gets to interact with. He is utilizing the weekend lineup of events (with the help of some of his NBA friends), to raise money for his Foundation in New York, and work with HSBCAMPS Director Carson Sofro to further the nationally growing basketball initiatives reach, amongst the NBA’s elite. “The weekend has been great. Between the NBA events, the Foundations progress, and reconnecting with HSB, it has all been very successful,” explains Lopez. “I’m looking forward to getting home to the kids in New York and another amazing summer ahead on the road with my friends at HSBCAMPS.”
Sofro and Lopez first connected in 2010, at an HSBCAMPS summer session in Bend, Oregon and their friendship has grown ever since. “There were so many synergies between what Felipe is doing in New York, and what we are trying to do all over the country, that we quickly embraced each others strengths and formed a partnership,” shared Sofro. “We are blessed to have been able to unite and share our visions both locally and nationally, but recognize there is still so much left to be done.” Lopez will return to a reloaded HSBCAMPS staff in 2011, eager to continue the work that he started in 2010. “It is great to get outside of the big cities and into the real heart of America,” explains Lopez. “There are kids everywhere that need help and I am so glad for the success of my own foundation and the opportunity I have been given with HSBCAMPS.”
For more information on HSBCAMPS, Felipe Lopez, and the work they’re doing, visit http://www.new.hsbcamps.com.