Story & Reporting by Diane Roberts, WUSA 9 Sports
LEESBURG, Va. (WUSA 9) -- Maggie Phillips is captain of Loudoun County High School's girls' varsity basketball team. She's also one of the top scorers in the county and a member of the state championship winning volleyball team.
But raising money for a military charity is what really moves the two-sport athlete.
"Wounded Warrior Project is something I'm very passionate about," said Phillips. "I've grown up in a patriotic household with both my parents serving in the military, and I had it on my heart to put funds toward this foundation."
Loudoun County athletic director Ken Wright said Phillips' initiative wasn't surprising.
"That's the type of kid she is," said Wright. "She enrolled both basketball teams and the players did it all ... from the sponsorships to the raffles, to selling the t-shirts ... [it's] 100 percent student led."
They're raising money by selling Hoops for Heroes t-shirts and raffling off an iPad. The school is also hosting a tournament on January 8 that will feature the boys' and girls' JV and varsity squads as well as the boys' freshman team.
U.S. Army specialist Josh Wetzel, who lost both legs serving in Afghanistan, was the guest of honor at last year's inaugural event. His story hits close to home for Phillips, whose dad was a Marine and served tours in Afghanistan and Iraq.
"My dad, I'm thinking about him, and he was so fortunate to come back completely intact," said Phillips. "I mean physically and mentally, he came out amazing from it."
Phillips, whose mom graduated from the Naval Academy and flew jets, says her biological family inspired her love of country. Through her Hoops for Heroes program, she's passing that pride on to her Raiders family.
"It's a night of patriotism, just joy for the United States of America," said Phillips. "
Loudoun County students raised $16,000 dollars last year, but the Raiders lost a major sponsor this year. They hope to get additional sponsors and donations to surpass last year's tally for the Wounded Warrior Project.
To make a contribution to Loudoun County's campaign visit:https://support.woundedwarriorproject.org/individual-fundraising/HFH2014/.
Posted on 12/20/2013