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Nazareth, Pa., United States

Friday, July 10, 2015

Downpour Fails to Mar Stellar Tourney

Becahi and Emmaus JVs
The Stellar "Catch A Rising Star" Basketball Tournament is billed as the nation's largest outdoor high school basketball tournament. But it's a good thing tournament organizers had a back-up plan. A sudden downpour at 7 pm made the courts at Allentown's Cedar Beach unplayable, and they had to be deserted for Parkland, William Allen, Whitehall and Salisbury High Schools, along with the East Side Youth Center.

When I arrived at Cedar Beach shortly before 6 pm, the skies looked menacing but no one was in a hurry to leave. Cedar Beach Park is simply beautiful, one of the nicest things about the Lehigh Valley and Allentown.

I watched Becahi's JV Boys Basketball team take on Emmaus in one of the most exciting games I've seen in a long time. Zach Sabol from Emmaus is a beast. If anyone could get the ball to him inside the paint, he'd put it in. The game went back and forth and even included a rare dunk at the JV level. When it was over, Emmaus was the better team by 2.

Incidentally, Becahi's JV Team includes Freshman Caden Giordano. I know him from CYO and his is a name to watch.

Viking Bezerkers
After the Beca loss, I went over to watch Central's opening game, which was starting at 7 pm on Court 1. My grandson has transferred there because it's closer to his home than Beca. Of course, he has dived right into summer league basketball, and seems to enjoy his teammates. Central was scheduled to play Governor Mifflin. But as the teams started to warm up, the skies began to cry, perhaps over Beca's loss.

The games were quickly scattered to the high schools, and an outdoor tournament suddenly became an indoor tournament. By this time, there were several thousand people at the park, most of them parked on the grass. And everyone was in a hurry to get to one of five locations. But no lives were lost getting out of there.

Central defeated Governor Mifflin by 19 points. They have a feverish defense and speed. In the winner's bracket, they will play Easton on Saturday.

The Morning Call's Keith Groller has a rundown on all the games played today.

What I love about basketball, a sport I barely noticed growing up, is the camaraderie among the players. Most of these kids know each other and have played against each other or with each other on AAU teams. Thanks to iPhones and all the chat devices, they get to know each other pretty well and most want to stick around after their game is over. It's a great melting pot for kids of many different backgrounds, united by their love of a strange game that wrestlers claim was invented for girls. .

If you've never gone to Cedar beach Park to watch these kids play, do yourself a favor and go watch them for an hour this weekend.I guarantee you'll leave with a smile.


Anonymous said...

Transferring between schools used to be you had to sit out a year.

Anonymous said...

Catholic schools can lie, cheat & steal better than the rest.

Anonymous said...

Didn't know Dat transferred to CCHS Bernie, hope it works well for him!

You're right, it's a pleasure watching these kids compete hard, then hang out afterwards. It reminds of playground ball when I was a kid. At Alton Park, kids from Emmaus, Allen and CCHS played all summer, we had a great time. Now with what you mentioned on communications and AAU teams, it's on a much more broad basis.

Definitely will try to get out there this weekend.

The Banker

Bernie O'Hare said...

"Catholic schools can lie, cheat & steal better than the rest."

Dat transferred to Central bc it is closer to where he lives and getting him to and from school is no ordeal for his mother.

By the way, if Catholic schools lie, cheat and steal, shouldn't they be power houses in every sport and shouldn't they always have winning records in everything? This accusation usually only comes when one of the school starts winning. Then league rules are changed so that they have to play teams in New Zealand.

If you look at the records of these schools, you will see an ebb and flow. There are times when
they are powerhouses, but it is usually a few years and then some public school will ascend.
There are no geographic or even religious boundaries for Catholic schools. They will take anyone and will work very hard with families of limited means. That does make their schools attractive to talented athletes, but the main goal of a catholic school is education, and one that includes religion. 99% of its graduates go on to college.

But this post is not about the Catholic v. public school debate. I'll be happy to host such a debate, but this post is about the Stellar Tournament, which will almost certainly be won by a public school.

Bernie O'Hare said...

"Transferring between schools used to be you had to sit out a year."

Maybe in college. But I never heard that in high school. I can think of several kids from Becahi who transferred to public schools and played right away. Do you have any examples or do you just like to talk out your ass?

Anonymous said...

Under PIAA regulations, if you transfer purely for athletic reasons then there's a 1-year sit-out. If it's for academic or other reasons, the sit-out does not apply - like in Dat's case.

Alex Atiyeh got caught up in this back in 2006 when he tried to transfer to Allen from Becahi. http://articles.mcall.com/2006-09-01/sports/3682089_1_transfer-eligibility-athletics

Anonymous said...


If your Transfer from one school to another is materially motivated in some way by an athletic purpose, you will lose your athletic eligibility in each sport in which you participate within a period of one year immediately following the date on which you transferred. This requirement applies even if you would be otherwise eligible at the school to which you transferred. If your school eliminates a sport for budgetary reasons, you may be permitted to Transfer to another school to participate in that sport. You must enroll and attend the other school. If you desire to participate in any other sports at that school, your PIAA District Committee will assess whether the Transfer was materially motivated in some way by an athletic purpose relating to those sports.

You know the rule as you stated he transferred because it was closer to home, bullshit. Must be some bullshit going on at Beca for the transfer. Why not Central before if it's closer to home?

Bernie O'Hare said...

The reason not before is bc that is where Dat wanted to go and the mother tried to make it work. It was too difficult for her to get her son home after school. Hence the change.if you wish to make a complaint, be my guest.

Anonymous said...

Public school kids transfer as well. A recent case is Justin Pacchioli, a Nazareth grad who transferred from Easton for his senior year. He was accepted by Lehigh and drafted by the Padres. The comments in the E-T after his selection were disgusting and indicative of a sick focus by adults on ah-thu-letics in Easton. There's a reason the sign on 25th Street brags of football wins and not Rhodes Scholars.

Good luck to Dat. He'll receive an outstanding education at Central. The quality of b-ball at the Stellar Tourney is outstanding. Beats the hell out of watching pampered NBA millionaires loaf down the court.

Bernie O'Hare said...

I now it is a challenging school academically. I guess they all are for those who are serious. Dat is very focused. He works on his schoolwork and then it's basketball. Next year, he may return to football, but he decided to stick with basketball 100% this year bc he really wants to be the best he can be at that sport. And he loved his time at Beca. Yesterday, he was one of the people cheering their JV squad.

Dat is by no means alone. I can recite name after name of kids who are very dedicated and throw everything they have into their favorite sport.

Anonymous said...

Free tuition?

Anonymous said...

Maybe. But it's none of your business. I donate lots and participate in several fundraisers to make sure motivated students like Dat get a shot at Catholic education. No tax dollars; just people who care. And I couldn't care less about the success of the sports teams. God bless Dat.

Bernie O'Hare said...

If you want to invade someone's privacy with questions like that, identify yourself.