By Nyesha Stone
The music echoed through the gym as the ball bounced from one side of the court to the other. Antonio Holmes—a member of the community and founder of the brand Tone Da’ Man (TDM), created and hosted TDM’s First Annual Charity Basketball game.
Holmes is known for giving back within his community. Every year him and his friends have a food drive for the holidays. He had this event to celebrate his “Jordan Year,” his 23rd birthday, and to also raise money for Bianca Williams.
“I just wanted to do something different for the community,” Holmes said. “Just to do my part in giving back.”
Williams is the founder and director of A Cry for Help Foundation which provides clothing, housing and food to the ones who really need it the most. All of the proceeds from Holmes’ event will be donated to Williams and her foundation.
People from all over the city came to the YMCA on North and Teutonia Ave. to join in on the festivities.
Holmes made a customized trophy for the winners of the game and had a half-time performance by the local dance team Loco Motion.
“I’m just here to support the community,” said Eric Evans, cousin of Holmes and co-founder of the clothing line Power Moves. “I’m just happy to see everybody come together.”
It took three to four months to put the event together and Holmes was happy with the turnout.
He treated this event like a real basketball tournament, which is was, by providing everything you would see at a basketball game; he even had snacks—chips, walking nachos and drinks.
All of the team players wore customized jerseys that said “shoot out,” but Holmes and his daughter were the only ones who had names on the backs of their jerseys. Holmes’ jersey said “Tone Da’ Man,” while his daughter’s jersey said, “daddy.”
The event started sharply at 3 p.m., and didn’t end until around 5:30 p.m.
With host Jaymillz on the mic and live music by DJ RC the event was “lit” from the time it started until the time everyone left the YMCA doors.
The event was meant to show and prove there’s good things going on in Milwaukee.
“Milwaukee is not all about violence. Milwaukee is a city where it’s a lot of talent,” Holmes said. “A lot of hidden talents…a lot of positive things are going on here.”
Holmes plans on continuing his advocate work and fighting to make the city of Milwaukee a better place for all.
Along with this event, Holmes held a TDM Fest concert that brought out local rappers. This year was his second festival and he plans on continuing the tradition as the years go on.
Holmes said that he just wants everybody to see Milwaukee in a new light…a better light.
“The city of Milwaukee is really working right now,” Holmes said. “And we’re coming with a force.”