There were a lot of cheers in the Freedom High School gym Tuesday night.
An enthusiastic crowd of 1,237 cheered loudly to support the Prince William County area’s top boys and girls basketball players during the 18th annual Hoops Fest competition.
But the loudest cheers came for people who were sitting courtside.
Proceeds from this year’s Hoops Fest will go to the family of Prince William County police Officer Chris Yung, who died in a crash on New Year’s Eve.
When Yung’s wife, Robin, and their three children, 11-year-old Bate, 9-year-old Clayton and 6-year-old Paige, were introduced during Tuesday’s festivities, the crowd that nearly filled Freedom’s gym got to it’s feet.
Robin Yung and her children waved as the crowd cheered and gave them a standing ovation.
“It was very, very heartwarming to see people standing like that,” Robin Yung said after Hoops Fest. “It was very touching. I can’t express enough how much gratitude we feel for this.”
- GALLERY: Photos from Hoops Fest 18
The Yung family, joined by Prince William County police Chief Steve Hudson, sat at a courtside table during the night’s events, joined by a sea blue uniforms in the gym. They watched as some of the best high school basketball players in the area faced off in three-point, two-ball and slam dunk competitions.
“It was very entertaining,” Robin Yung said. “I’ve really never been to an event like this. It was great.”
The crowd favorite seemed to be the slam dunk competition, which Stonewall Jackson High School student JR Washington won for the second year in a row.
Bate Yung served as one of the celebrity judges for that competition.
“It was fun,” he said with a grin.
Hoops Fest 18 raised $5,270 for the Yung family to use however they wish.
Freedom High School athletic director Bobbi Dewitt said she wanted the event to honor Yung and his sacrifice.
“Not only was Officer Yung a husband and father but he served our community as a Prince William County Officer and our country as a United States Marine,” Dewitt said in an interview before the competition. “They are the ones that protect and serve us, so why can't we do what we can to protect and serve them and their families in their time of need?”
Yung, a motorcycle officer, was traveling on Va. 28 near Piper Lane in Bristow, responding to another crash, when a minivan turning into the Target shopping center pulled out in front of him. Yung collided with the minivan and died of his injuries.
In 17 years, Hoops Fest has raised $128,062.99 helping families in need in Prince William County.
The Potomac News, and later combined Potomac News and Manassas Journal Messenger, sponsored the event each year. With the closing of the News & Messenger last year, Prince William Today and InsideNoVa.com decided to keep the Hoops Fest tradition alive.
Donations can still be mailed to the attention of:
Freedom High School
15201 Neabsco Mills Road
Woodbridge, Va. 22191
Make checks payable to the Chris Yung family.