Brian and Annette Jolivette, Lafayette natives and founders of Texas-based nonprofit organization Above All Sports, donated $9,000 to the Parks, Arts, Recreation, and Culture (PARC) Department.
Brian, a former USL basketball player, returned to his hometown to co-sponsor Zydeco Hoopfest, a three-day basketball tournament held recently that attracted 110 local, in-state, and out-of-state teams.
Athletic Programs Supervisor Walter Guillory graciously accepted the donation, which he said will help four Greater Lafayette Little League All-Star teams pay for hotel and meal expenses and uniforms. “We greatly appreciate the donation. Initially, we had no idea the tournament would mushroom into the number of teams we had. We thought we’d have 40 teams at best,” Guillory said.
Brian said participating in sports through Lafayette’s recreational programs played an important role in his life, dating back as far as 1973 when he received his first trophy when playing on an All-Star baseball team. He wants kids in the community to have the same positive experience. “It’s always been a dream of mine to come back to Lafayette and do something positive for kids. Athletics — basketball, football, and baseball — were so important to me,” he said.
This year’s inaugural Zydeco Hoopfest will be an annual event, and the Jolivettes’ goal is to make a larger donation as the tournament grows. “The interest in the event was extremely high. We had a number of teams that wanted to play but registered too late. We expect the number of teams to almost double next year,” Brian said.