ESP (Extra Special People), a leading organization dedicated to creating transformative experiences for people with disabilities, has raised $71,000 at its first annual Big Hoops basketball tournament. The event, held last Friday, March 31st at The Huffman at Darlington School, brought together teams of local doctors and lawyers from across the city to compete and support the worthy cause in front of a sold-out gym of over 800 community members.

The event featured a halftime performance by ESP participants whose abilities were the spotlight of the night. Participants ranged in age from 6 to 40 years old, and all had the opportunity to showcase their dance skills and basketball sportsmanship on the court. The event also featured a Darlington fourth-grade class who used their lemonade-making skills to sell the fantastic beverage and donated the proceeds of over $1,400 to ESP.

“We are thrilled to have raised $71,000 at the first annual Big Hoops tournament,” said ESP Rome Leadership Annual Giving Officer, Devon Smyth. “I was incredible to see Rome show up and connect the unconnected in our community! The funds will go a long way in supporting our
mission to promote inclusion and create transformative experiences for people with disabilities.”

The tournament was made possible by the generous support of sponsors, including Riverside Auto, Rome Radiology Group, Harbin Clinic, Rome Orthopaedic Center, and many more along with the hard work of ESP’s staff and volunteers. All funds raised from the event will support
ESP Rome’s programs, which include after-school activities, weekend club events, employee training programs, and summer camp.

When asked about his experience at Big Hoops, local ESP participant Cordell Harris, responded that, “it was the best night EVER and he never wanted the night to end!” To learn more about ESP Rome and its programs, or to donate and volunteer, kindly visit