Wednesday 6 August 2014

Topspin Annual Charity Table Tennis Tournament

I was fortunate enough to attend the Topspin Annual Charity Table Tennis Tournament at the Palazzo Hotel and Casino in Las Vegas last Saturday. This is an event hosted by Chris Paul where NBA players face off on the ping pong table to raise money for the Topspin Charity. Wally Green landed in town along with Soo Yeon Lee and Kim Gilbert to add a bit more table tennis presence to the occasion. I headed down there with Carmencita and Cynthia Alexandrescu and of course Sam Larab who captured some great photos during the evening!

Me with Wally Green, Carmencita and Cynthia Alexandrescu and Katherine Wu
Topspin Charity Event 2014
Photo by Sam Larab
The draw was full of NBA players and the smash talk was pretty fierce, there were some great laughs and some funny points during the event. Soo Yeon and Wally did a short exhibition on the main table. I slid off to the Practice Lounge for a little while to play some games with people who were coming in to check out the event.

The Player's Lounge
Topspin Charity Event
Photo by Sam Larab
I had the pleasure of playing for a little while with Al-Farouq Aminu from the New Orleans Pelicans and then also played some fun doubles with Camy against random challengers. It was great fun to get out in Vegas and be part of the event in such a great environment, these are the kinds of events which are superb for the sport.

Matt Hetherington and Soo Yeon Lee
Photo by Sam Larab
I also had the opportunity to catch up with Soo Yeon Lee. I remembered Soo Yeon from the year she spent in New Zealand ten years ago when she was crowned 2004 NZ Open Champion in the women's singles. She had flown to Vegas at the last minute after deciding she just had to be there for the Topspin Event.

You can see the video from the event here. Chris Paul won in outstanding fashion, beating Jerome Williams in the final and making two years in a row. Now everybody is out to get him for next year. I had great fun at the event, it was a good opportunity to have a great evening with my good friends, especially Wally Green who did a fantastic job hosting the event. I definitely hope I can go to more events like this one again! :)

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