– Using Basketball to Raise AIDS Awareness

I apologize for interrupting your regularly scheduled Timberwolves programming, but I felt that what I have to share is something that all of us need to hear. 

As basketball fans, we’re all well-aware of how powerful this game can be. There just something about basketball that can take a group of 40,000 strangers and unite them towards a single cause.  Often times, that "cause" is something as simple as cheering on the Timberwolves to victory. But if we limit the game to something that gets our pulse pounding every now and then, and serves no other purpose than to make the players and owners rich, we’re doing the world a great disservice.  The game of basketball can be used to accomplish something so much bigger…

My best friend and high school basketball teammate, Dan Occhiogrosso, has made it his goal to do just that.  He’s decided to take his world-class ball handling skills and use them to accomplish something that will change lives.  Through Dan’s website,, he’s been able to sell instructional videos with 100% of the donations going to the Bethesda Outreach in South Africa to help AIDS Orphans.  Dan has also spent time doing performance demonstrations for teenagers with the goal of educating them about poverty and the AIDS epidemic. 

Dan’s next activity with Ball For Lives will be to dribble the entire NYC Marathon, this coming November 4th, in the hopes of rasing $10,000 for the Bethesda Outreach and Meals on Wheels.  This latest fundraiser is the reason I’m telling you all about Dan and his website.  I don’t want to put a guilt trip on anyone, but none of us think twice about plunking down a ton of cash to go to games, order NBA League Pass, or buy jerseys and other merchandise.  Yet by donating only $10 to support Dan and his cause, you’ll be able to change the life of a child whose parents have been taken from him by AIDS.  You’ll be able to help give that child food, shelter, education, and a future.  I apologize for going all Sally Struthers on you, but this problem is real and there’s something that we actually can do about it. 

If you’d like to find out more about the Bethesda Outreach, Ball for Lives, and what you can do to help children who have been orphaned by AIDS, you go to  Again, 100% of your donation goes directly towards helping the children. 

Thanks for hearing me out.

Derek Hanson

About Derek Hanson

Doctor by day, blogger by night, Derek Hanson founded the Bloguin Network and TWolves Blog. He is one of the original Timberwolves fans, hailing back to 1989.