Basketball teams from around the country donate toiletries to those in need

An NBA executive from Somerset County is giving back to communities in need.
Whether it's Seton Hall, Rutgers, NJIT or Fairleigh Dickinson, college coaches from around New Jersey are putting rivalries aside for a greater cause.
The effort is called “Scouting and Scavenging.” The idea is for basketball teams to gather unused hotel toiletries to give to communities in need. The initiative was started in December 2019 by Basking Ridge native Daniel Marks.
“For people on food stamps, toiletries can’t be purchased with those vouchers. So there’s a real need for those supplies,” Marks says.
Marks is the manager of prospect information for the Milwaukee Bucks. He started the initiative after hearing about a baseball writer who was doing something similar.
Marks spread the word on social media through his basketball contacts. He partnered with the Newark Food Relief Program to help with distribution.
“They’ve done over 2.8 million meals for Newark residents since COVID-19 hit. Both my grandparents are from Newark, so I have a connection to the city,” Marks says.
Scouting and Scavenging received more than 500 pounds of toiletries to distribute from basketball programs across the country.
“It means a lot, especially because we stay not too far from here, so just helping to give back to the community in any shape or way just means a lot and shows we’re more than athletes,” says Seton Hall women basketball player Andra Espinoza-Hunter.
Marks also has teams from the ACC and Big 12 schools participate in their own communities. And he hopes that the trend continues as sports teams get back to normal.
“As teams are able to get a full travel schedule on their belt and then make an impact with these supplies in all the different cities that we have teams participating,” Marks says.
This was the second distribution event for the program. More information can be found on the initiative’s website.