One of the greatest Maryland basketball players of this era returns to College Park on Saturday, and he’s bringing lots of backpacks with him.
Greivis Vasquez, the guard who starred for the Terrapins from 2006 to 2010 and still sits second on Maryland’s all-time scoring list, hosts a backpack and school supply drive in the city this Saturday. It’s also geared as a family fun day, with face-painting and the like as part of the festivities.
It’s scheduled for 10 a.m. until 2 p.m. at the College Park Community Center, and Vasquez expects a turnout of something like 300 to 600 kids. It’s his third year holding the event. It’s a partnership between Vasquez’s foundation and corporate sponsors.
“Basketball wouldn’t be happening for me if I didn’t take care of school – high school, college,” Vasquez told Testudo Times in an interview. “I think that’s the most important thing. Basketball can open so many doors, but taking care of school is the most important thing that you can ever have in your life.”
Vasquez left Maryland six years ago, but he’s retained a soft spot in his heart for the area. He expects to eventually return to raise his family nearby.
“I’m loyal to College Park, Maryland, the DMV and the support they gave me and the support they still give me” he said. “I feel like I’m from the DMV. That’s my community, so I have to embrace that community before I embrace other communities. It’s something we’re gonna continue to do.”
In Prince George’s County, this is a particularly big deal. The county’s school system says it has more than 80,000 students on free and reduced meal programs, a figure that represents more than 60 percent of its students. School supplies can go a long way toward helping families that need it, and that’s a very good thing.
“Giving back to the community is always a good thing,” Vasquez said. “That represents who I am and where my heart is. I can’t ever forget where I came from. Maryland – the DMV – means so much to me.”
Vasquez’s backpack drive runs from 10 a.m. through 2 p.m. on Saturday, Aug. 27. The College Park Community Center’s address is 5051 Pierce Ave, College Park, MD 20740.