DEPsi hosts basketball tournament to fund diabetes research

The brothers of DEPsi with last year's winning team from the men's bracket. Courtesy art.

The brothers of DEPsi with last year's winning team from the men's bracket. Courtesy art.
The brothers of DEPsi with last year’s winning team from the men’s bracket. Courtesy art.
By Ada Zhang
Staff Writer

The Delta Epsilon Psi fraternity brothers are hosting their seventh annual Who’s Got Game basketball tournament this Saturday and Sunday to support type 1 diabetes research.

The tournament will begin at 9:30 a.m. and end at 4:30 p.m. Saturday in the Marrs McLean Gym. Teams of three players will play against one another on a half-court. Four games will take place simultaneously. Only teams that registered for the tournament and payed a fee of $10 per person can participate. Registration closed at midnight last night. Currently, there are 30 teams registered.

Bentonville, Ark., senior Ankur Pradhan, president of DEPsi, said players will call their own fouls. The DEPsi members, he said, are only there to keep track of the time and the score.

“If they have disagreements, that’s when we intervene, and we make the final call,” Pradhan said. “But usually players are pretty good about handling the situation.”

The teams are split into two divisions, Pradhan said, a female division and a male division. There are no co-ed teams.

The tournament will operate under a double-elimination system to give people more chances to play, Pradhan said.

“You’re guaranteed to play at least two games,” he said. “If you lose the first game, you get placed in the loser’s bracket. If you lose in that bracket, you’re out. You’re not out until you lose twice.”

Pradhan said DEPsi will provide pizza for lunch. During lunch time, there will also be a Sugar Free Throw Contest. Sugar Land sophomore Ali Sohani, a chair of the event, said anyone who wants to join the contest can pay $3 the day-of and participate. The free throw contest winner will win $50 in cash.

The semi-finals and finals will take place from 1–4 p.m. Sunday in the Student Life Center. The winning team from each division will win $300.

Throughout the tournament, Gatorade and snacks will be available to players, Pradhan said.

Watching the tournament is free and open to the public.

Sohani said the money DEPsi raises from this tournament goes towards the Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation.

The foundation is a philanthropy that funds type 1 diabetes research. Its mission is to “progressively remove the impact of T1D from people’s lives until we achieve a world without T1D,” according to its website.

Last year, the tournament raised over $5,000, Sohani said. He said, however, that hosting the tournament is expensive.

To acquire enough money to put on the event, each member had to find sponsors, Pradhan said.

In addition to finding organizations that were willing to support their cause, DEPsi brothers had to promote the event to make it a success, Pradhan said.

“It’s all about promotion,” he said. “Since we’re smaller, we really have to work on promoting. That’s the only way we were going to be able to recruit 30 teams.”

DEPsi brothers chalked on campus, set up table tents and put up posters among many other advertising techniques. Sohani said everyday for four weeks DEPsi had a table set up in different on-campus locations. Having a table set up allowed people to register on the spot, Pradhan said.

Sohani said diabetes research is important to his fraternity because a former DEPsi brother passed away due to diabetes.

“I wasn’t around at the time, but from what I heard, he was an amazing brother,” Sohani said. “When he passed away, it hurt everyone so much that someone so valuable was taken away. We want to make sure that that doesn’t happen to other people. We want to help find a cure for diabetes.”