By Melanie Evans – Rivera

For the last five years TopSpin, a philanthropic concern dedicated to improving educational opportunities for underprivileged youth in the US, has challenged stars from the worlds of sports and entertainment to come together for a single night and show off their table tennis skills at the TopSpin Ping-Pong Showdown. The event, which is held in both NYC and LA, is held to help raise money to fund a variety of educational initiatives benefiting kids.

New York Knicks Assistant General Manager, former NBA All Star and dedicated philanthropist, Allan Houston went into the championship, which was held on November 6 at the Metropolitan Pavilion in Manhattan, as the reigning champion, having taken home the title in 2012. This year he was joined by fellow NBA basketball stars and tournament regulars such as Jerry Stackhouse, Deron Williams and Darryl Dawkins as well as the Knicks’ own Kenyon Martin, the Nets’ Alan Anderson and former NBA vets John Wallace and Ron Harper.

The event, which was open to the public, raised $350,000 on the night. The funds will be distributed to a number of local educational charities including A Better Chance, The Children’s Aid Society, Change For Kids, The Wishbone Charity and Horizons.

Unfortunately, despite some great play, Allan did not retain his ping pong crown this year though, with the New York Giants’ defensive end Jason Pierre-Paul emerging as the eventual victor on the night.