About Me

My photo
Nazareth, Pa., United States

Monday, July 17, 2017

A-Town Throwdown -They do it for the Love

Hat's off to Randy Atiyeh and Toomey Anderson for putting together another smashing success in this year's A-Town Throwdown, which concluded last night at Cedar Beach Park in Allentown. They were able to move this tournament indoors for the rain on Thursday and Friday, but everything went off without a hitch. What they do is a great service to the community and our area youth.

Many years ago, when my grandson was just a little boy playing in a league with numerous other children on Allentown's south side, I asked Toomey why he does what he does.

"I do it for the love," was his short answer.

He probably would be hard put to remember those words today, but they really registered with me. That's why I would call him and Randy Atiyeh unsung heroes. The same goes for Glenn Klein, who runs the Allentown summer league year after year at Cedar Beach Park.

Ray O'Connell trying out for Central
freshman team
These guys care.

It's about more than basketball

Through all these tournaments, these kids from different schools and circumstances get to know each other. They form bonds. In my day, things were a lot different.

These kids are better than I was at their age. That's why I think there's hope for us.

Now just being a spectator at the Atown Throwdown is something of an ordeal. On Saturday, I watched several games between 1-6 pm, and returned home exhausted as a result of the heat. On Sunday, after we were eliminated, I nearly fell asleep driving home and had to take a nap before writing this story. The heat got to me. You can watch in the shade, but the really good vantage points are in the sun. So that's where I sat, so I could impart my words of wisdom to Central players, which they thankfully ignored.

This kid was cut from Parkland
because he's too short.
Allentown City Council President Ray O'Connell was there both Saturday and Sunday to root for Allen, which did make it to the sweet 16. He also watched nearly every Central game, and tried to have me arrested for being too loud. Council member Daryl Hendricks also braved the heat and stopped by to watch the action and see the Lehigh Valley's future. You might say they're playing politics but you would be wrong. Ray, in particular, comes every year and brings his family. As a former educator, he recognizes the value of this tournament.

One person who you'll never see is Allentown Mayor Edwin "Fed Ed" Pawlowski. He was busy on Saturday opening his campaign headquarters, but the basketball crowd has his number. The damage he has done to himself over the removal of the basketball rims at Andre Reed Park may very well be worse than the glacier known as a political corruption investigation that feds seem intent on stretching out into the next century.

After four days and hundreds of games that first began on Thursday night, Chambersburg won this year's championship in Boys Varsity. The Girls' Varsity crown went to Becahi.

Of 48 teams in boys varsity, the final eight on Sunday included Liberty, Chambersburg, Nazareth, Northampton, Parkland, Bensalem, Allentown Central Catholic and Constitution. Although Chambersburg emerged the victor, Northampton made it to the final four. Parkland came in second.


Anonymous said...

Ditto for Jess Phillips on the girls side. The communication between organizers and coaches/volunteers was great and everything ran smooth despite the weather obstacles.

Anonymous said...

Where is Bangor in that final group?

Anonymous said...

Dirty Ed is an embarrassment to youth of Allentown. He rather have them shooting each other up, riding dirt bikes in the streets and mugging good people. That is the mantra of Dirty Ed. He has no need for the youth since they can't vote and views youth crime as a given factor. Congratulations to Glen Klein and the boys who really put on a fantastic event; at the chagrin of the Chicago slickster, "Fed Ed" Pawlowski!

Bernie O'Hare said...

Bangor did quite well. Though it failed to make Sunday's sweet 16, the team defeated Abington and Del Val. It lost to Northampton, which finished second overall. It wasmissing several players who were in an AAU tourney. So were several teams.

Anonymous said...

Fed Ed has Jesus on his team.

Anonymous said...

Bernie, glad to see there are areas still left in allentown for family fun entertainment. The quality life and living has experianced a drastic drop in the likely hood of survival in the end games.