Country music stars Jimmie Allen and Maddie & Tae joined NFL player turned ESPN personality Marcus Spears and women's basketball great Sheryl Swoopes on Wednesday (June 9) at a celebrity fishing tournament in Lewisville, Texas. The fundraiser, which preceded this year's Academy Sports + Outdoors Bassmaster Classic, was won by a team captained by three-sport athlete and former Super Bowl champion Deion Sanders.
Per a press release, Sanders' team presented their charity of choice, Tiger Fund Athletic Foundation, with a $5,000 check from Academy. All other participants were given $1,000 for their respective non-profits.
The press release adds that Team Deion's bass anglers, including Sydnie Wells, James Hall and Bassmaster Pro Greg Hackney, caught 12 lbs. 8 oz. of fish. Per the Outside Business Journal, the Sanders' crew "reeled in the winning Largemouth Bass weighing in at 3 lbs. 6 oz. on an H2O XPRESS Tac 40 spinning rod paired with an H2O Mettle spinning reel."
The tournament allowed Allen to support a worthy cause through his lifelong love of fishing. He grew up ocean fishing in Delaware with his dad and grandmother long before sharing a favorite pastime with his own son, Aadyn.
"Recently I've started getting into lake fishing the last few years, but I've been fishing since I was 9 or 10," Allen told Wide Open Country.
More recently, fishing each weekend offered Allen solace while touring was on hold due to COVID-19.
"I was going back and forth between Florida, Delaware, Alaska. Just everywhere, fishing the whole time," Allen says.
Even with his live schedule filling up, Allen intends to keep on fishing as often as possible.
"I'm ready to get back to touring, but I'll always make time to fish," Allen says. "I'll cancel meetings and writes during the week to go fishing. I'm like, 'If I don't need to be at the meeting, I ain't going to go.' Most of the time, I just let my managers go. They know what we're trying to accomplish."
Fellow participants Maddie & Tae made their angler allegiances known in 2015 with the hilarious music video for "Shut Up and Fish."