Hoops in the Sun Group, Inc. (HITS) is a community based basketball program dealing primarily in the streetball industry. The Hoops in the Sun basketball program is held at Orchard Beach in Bronx, New York, where according to the New York Daily News, over 700,000 people will visit the beach during the summer weekends. It provides a recreational activity for adults and youth and an entertainment outlet for beach-going spectators of all ages.
Since starting seventeen years ago (2000), Hoops in the Sun has earned its spot as one of the premiere Pro-Am runs on the entire East Coast. With the $5 million in improvements made to Orchard Beach in 1999 and $400,000 in 2017, Hoops in the Sun has served as a complement to the rebuilding efforts and activity expansion within this New York City summer “hot spot”. Going strong into its 18th year, Hoops in the Sun will once again bring some of the most competitive New York City basketball to this attractive environment.
Hoops in the Sun was created by Rufino (Joe) Cruz, Sr., but was known to many as Joe “Pops” Cruz, and his two sons Joe Jr., and Randy in the Summer of 2000 as an 8-team Pro-Am Men’s League for male adults age 18 years and older including current and former college standouts and professional basketball. In 2001, the program was expanded to include a Women’s Pro-Am league for female adults age 18 years and older as well as a Youth Clinic in association with the New York City Parks & Recreation for children ages 7-12. Expanding the program has allowed Hoops in the Sun to increase the overall participation within the community.
In 2004, Hoops in the Sun expanded both the Men’s League and Youth League Divisions from an 8-team league to a 10-team league. This allowed the influx of talent from all across the Tri-State Area to participate in the league. To date, teams from Chicago, Philadelphia, Albany, Westchester County and Rockland County.
Since 2005, Hoops in the Sun has received mainstream press by being included in prestigious newspaper and magazine articles and video features that includes SLAM Magazine, the MSG Network, ESPN, ESPN Radio, FOX 5, New York Daily News and the New York Post.
In 2012, the league expanded once again by adding a Girls High School Division, as well as 2016 by adding a 19 and under High School Division, giving Hoops in the Sun a total of 50 teams ranging from 10 years old to adult.
Hoops in the Sun has also received sponsorship support from prestigious companies including Nike, Adidas, Mountain Dew, Gatorade, Playstation, Boost Mobile, the New York Yankees, SLAM Magazine, Ben & Jerry’s, WWE, New Era Cap, the New York Knicks and Toyota.