Friday, March 19, 2010

Basketball: Fundraiser set for Cape Verde women's Olympic team

Marques Houtman has played basketball all over the world as a 6-foot-3 point guard for the Cape Verde national team. Now, he's looking to give something back to the country that helped make his dream of playing professionally a reality.
Saturday afternoon, Houtman will team up with to host a fundraiser for the Cape Verde women's Olympic basketball team from 4 to 7 p.m. at the Verdean Vets Hall at 561 Purchase St.
"We're looking to raise some money so the team can buy sneakers, workout gear and fitness equipment," said Houtman, a third generation Cape Verdean-American. "People can make donations, Cape Verdean food will be available for $5 a plate and we're also going to have a live taping with some successful Cape Verdean women."
The 6 p.m. panel discussion will include attorney Indira Pires, the daughter of Cape Verde president Pedro Pires; Eunice Monteiro, a translator for; Candida Rose, a celebrated singer from New Bedford; Iva Brito, a local real estate agent; and Dana Rebeiro, a New Bedford City Council candidate and AHA! board member.
"It's a great cause and we're trying to do something positive for Cape Verde," Houtman said. "It will be good for kids from New Bedford to meet Indira and the rest of the women on the panel. They're all successful and they're good examples that hard work and dedication can take you places."
Local musical group Common Ground will provide live entertainment at the event.
A 1997 graduate of New Bedford High School and a 2002 graduate of UMass Dartmouth with a degree in information systems, Houtman scored over 1,000 career points for the Corsairs after transferring in from Stonehill College midway through his sophomore season.
UMD reached the NCAA Division III Sweet Sixteen with Houtman in 2001 and he went on to play for the 2005 Boston Frenzy, an ABA team that was coached by Joe "Jellybean" Bryant, the father of Los Angeles Lakers' star Kobe Bryant.
Houtman won a silver medal in 2009, playing for the Cape Verde Olympic team in the Lusophonia Games held in Lisbon, Portugal, where the team took home a bronze medal in 2008.
Also in 2008, Houtman helped lead Clube 1 de Agosto to the Angola Pro League championship, and he played for Cape Verde that same year in a FIBA pre-Olympics tournament in Athens, Greece.
Houtman also won a bronze medal playing for Cape Verde in the 2007 FIBA Afrobasket Championship in Luanda, Angola.
"I've been able to live a dream playing international basketball," Houtman said. "The people of Cape Verde have been very good to me and we're hoping that New Bedford will come out and show some support for the Cape Verde women's Olympic team."

Ed Collins –

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