Shooting down cancer
Pair of teenagers create unique basketball tourney to honor friend’s mom
Eleven to 14-year-old boys may not have worn any shoes the last two months (your parents are jealous), but it’s time to lace them up for a special three-on-three basketball tournament in Reamstown.
In April of 2010, Mrs. Kerrie Dacey died of breast cancer. Her son, Patrick, who now lives in Philadelphia, has two very close friends that live in Reamstown. Starting August 13, Patrick’s friends Connor Mack and John McCafferty will serve as commissioners of a very unique neighborhood basketball tournament. The proceeds of the tourney will go directly to the National Breast Cancer Foundation in Kerrie’s honor.
The basketball will be played in the 50 by 40-foot driveway of the McCafferty’s at 2 Lee Drive, Stevens (the development behind Reamstown Elementary School). The two backboards will allow full-court action, with the rims set at eight feet (dunking is encouraged). The ball is a mini version (8-9 inch diameter) which lends itself to the name of the contest.
The Mini Basketball League was created, and the first tournament was played in 2012. This third edition has nine teams and 27 players pre-registered. A round-robin “regular season” will be played August 13 and 15. All teams qualify for the double-elimination playoffs (teams are seeded) which is held Sunday, August 17.
The $10 per person entry fee is given to the Cancer Foundation, while each player receives a MBL T-shirt. Interested teams should immediately call the Mack’s at 336-0355 (there are still openings).
Ten players took the court the first year, followed by 18 last year. Last year’s donation was $220 while this year’s goal is $300. These numbers are reflected in the new MBL slogan, as expressed by Connor Mack.
“Bigger, Better, Closer to a Cure,” he said. “As the current players get older, we can expand to a Senior bracket and even a separate division for girls. We need at least four teams for that type of expansion.”
The games last 20 minutes (two 10-minute halves) with a two minute overtime, and if necessary, one minute extra overtimes. The black-top surface will have one, two and three point lines, and a foul (there are referees) on a scored basket will automatically score three in an effort to save time. An errant pass could end up in the grass, the street, a flower bed or in the lap of a parent that lines the court (bring your own folding chair).
The boys have created a website, a brochure and worked with the supplier on the T-shirt design. Not too shabby for two 13-year-olds whose friend lost his mom.