Ben Nicoson did not know Rashawn Haskins personally. But when Nicoson, a senior guard on the Center Grove basketball team, heard about the Dec. 1 car accident that killed Haskins, he figured there had to be a way to help the family of the former Southport football star.
In the weeks that followed, Nicoson developed a plan to rally the Indiana high school basketball community to aid a family in need.
“In December, I talked to my dad about what a big impact it was on the (Haskins’) family and how the tragedy impacted them,” Nicoson said. “I thought one way we could help them was to raise money for the family.”
The idea developed from the “Change for a Dollar” program at Nicoson’s Mount Pleasant Christian Church in Greenwood, where a person can nominate anyone they feel could benefit from financial assistance. Each dollar raised that day goes toward that specific cause.
“I thought we could do the same thing for the Haskins family,” Nicoson said. “I thought, ‘What if we got every boys basketball player in the state of Indiana to raise one dollar?’”
With the help of the Indiana High School Athletic Association for contact information and Center Grove principal Jeffry Henderson, Nicoson sent a letter via email to each boys basketball program in the state in late December and started a Go Fund Me page called “Hoops for Haskins.”
The idea took off, especially once schools returned from the holiday break in January. As of Monday, the Go Fund Me page had raised more than $4,400. But that is far from the overall total.
“There is more money coming in from other areas, in the mail or at school or other fundraisers,” Nicoson said. “We haven’t counted all of that up yet.”
There is still time to get involved. Those interested can visit GoFundMe.com/Hoops-For-Haskins or mail Hoops for Haskins in care of Center Grove High School at 2717 S. Morgantown Road; Greenwood, IN 46143.
Nicoson plans to present a check to the Haskins family at Southport’s Feb. 16 home basketball game against Evansville Reitz. Haskins, 18, was an all-state wide receiver as a senior this fall. He was the passenger in a car driven by his girlfriend after a Southport basketball game on Dec. 1. Haskins’ sister, Briana, was injured in the crash at U.S. 31 and Main Street in Greenwood, but has returned to school.
Nicoson said he has been blown away by the response.
“I feel fortunate we can bring communities together to help one central community in need,” he said. “It makes me feel blessed to see so many people support me and the Haskins’ family.”
Call Star reporter Kyle Neddenriep at (317) 444-6649.