TopSpin held their fourth annual Ping-Pong Tournament last night featuring guest appearances from present and former NBA players including Gerald Wallace, Jerry Stackhouse, Allan Houston and more. The Ping-Pong tournament was created to raise money for three city programs for under-served students (A Better Chance, Change For Kids, and Horizons).
During the event, Complex got to catch up with some of the guests about how they connected with TopSpin, the Knicks-Nets rivalry, and the Knicks 5-0 start.
How did you get connected with TopSpin?
Allan Houston: Ping-pong has always been a fun activity and pastime for me. My father taught me how to play. You don’t see a lot of opportunities to go out and play ping-pong. So when you can do it in an environment where you can raise money and invest in the lives of our youth and help them be equipped through education and realize their dreams; there really is no better mix.
Jerry Stackhouse: I thought it was a great cause and right down the line of what I preach to a lot of young kids about staying in school, and making sure that they use education as a vehicle, so it fits in with my passion.
Angie Martinez: They invited me down. They told me what the cause was. I had a free night tonight. They said it was for youth education. I think everyone deserves the right to have a great education. It’s a competitive situation which I excel in. [Laughs.]
What are your thoughts on the Knicks-Nets Rivalry?
Jerry Stackhouse: It’s a great thing. There’s so many die-hard Knicks fans, we have to steal a few of them honestly. There’s still a lot of Knicks fans in Brooklyn that we have to try to convert over. Let them know that they have their own team. It’s great for the game of Basketball to have two NBA teams in New York.
Gerald Wallace: It’s going to be exciting, and something fun to watch for everybody.
What do you think about the Knicks 5-0 start?
John Starks: They’re playing very well. They’re a team filled with a lot of veteran players, and the young guys are looking very good also. I like their team. They can match up with any team. They can go big and go small and we haven’t even gotten started with Amar’e Stoudemire and Iman Shumpert coming back. So I’m excited about this year, and I know the city of New York is excited as well.
John Wallace: I love us, it’s not just about being 5-0 because they’re also playing basketball the right way.
What do you think about Phil jackson's mini-drama episode with the Los Angeles Lakers?
Ron Harper: It went down the way it did. Phil’s not mad, it just went down that way. He’s a very good coach who knows the game and I think he would’ve done a fine job there. That’s a basketball team where you have to win right now. They can’t wait two years. I think with the choice they made, we’ll find out what happens in time.
Celebs and athletes coming out and competing for a good cause? We're all for it. TopSpin loves the kids. Salute!