By Torrey Smith

BALTIMORE (WJZ) — A ‘Mask’erade Ball fundraiser for Coppin State University’s women’s basketball team is happening on Friday to cover some of the costs of the team’s operations.

Former Baltimore Ravens player and WJZ contributor Torrey Smith will be the speaker at the 7:30 p.m. event along with Kristi Toliver and former Head Coach Derek Brown.

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A $25 ticket will provide access to the virtual event plus a Coppin State mask. All viewers are encouraged to wear a mask — either COVID style or masquerade style.

Proceeds will benefit the women’s basketball team, providing meals after training and pay for two assistants while also helping them get the technology needed to document and record the team and other assistance for the student-athletes.

“At a school like Coppin State, sometimes the funding isn’t where it needs to be where there’s a lot of troubled youth that don’t believe in themselves, don’t have positive mentors,” Coach Laura Harper said.

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Harper said the school has been receiving “decommissioned athletes.”

“Even last year, they weren’t able to sustain the muscles that they needed to really grow,” she said. “They’re hungry. They tell me all the time, ‘Coach, I’m hungry. Coach, I’m thirsty.’ They go back to their dorms, they’re just like, ‘Well we just don’t eat.'”

Harper said she’s hoping the fundraiser will raise enough to make sure players are eating and recovering properly. Currently, the budget from the school is between $10,000 and $15,000, she said.

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For more information on the event or to purchase tickets, click here.