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Torii Hunter Project to fund scholarships

December 9, 2008 | 10:25 am

LAS VEGAS -- Angels center fielder Torii Hunter will be joined by tennis great Andre Agassi at the winter meetings today to announce an education initiative that will provide scholarships and character development curriculum to students in four cities: Anaheim, Pine Bluff, Ark., where he grew up; Las Vegas and Minneapolis, where Hunter played nine years with the Twins.

The initiative, which will be operated by the Heart of a Champion Foundation, will provide 100 scholarships over the next four years, and the character curriculum will be delivered to middle school and junior high school students in Anaheim, Pine Bluff and Las Vegas.

"The way I grew up was pretty tough," Hunter said in a news release. "I vowed to myself that if I ever got the opportunity to help anybody that I was going to do it. That's one of the reasons why I'm so passionate about helping kids. Seeing the difference I can make in somebody's life is powerful. I'm glad that I can in some small way give back, because I feel blessed to be where I'm at."

Beginning with next school year, the scholarships will be presented to high school graduates from the Orangewood Children's Home in Orange, the Andre Agassi College Preparatory Academy in Las Vegas and the Pine Bluff school district. Students must meet certain criteria such as financial need, academic standing and attendance, and will be selected without regard to race, gender or ethnicity.

-- Mike DiGiovanna

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