Sponsors Boys Basketball at SportsFest
St. Luke's Sponsors Boys Basketball Tournament at SportsFest
Health- and Sports-Related Clinics also will be Offered
For the past 11 years, the boys' basketball tournament has been the marquee event of the Sportsfest weekend (July 24 – 27) due to the dedication of the players, their schools and their coaches. This summer, St. Luke’s Hospital & Health Network takes over sponsorship of the tournament as part of its commitment to proactively promote healthy lifestyles and sports safety among children, teen and adult athletes of all calibers. The tournament has been renamed the St. Luke’s Shooting Stars Boys Basketball Tournament.
“As the country’s largest amateur sporting event, the atmosphere at Sportsfest is unmatched,” says Chris Lakatosh, the boys basketball tournament director, on the SportsFest website. “Sportsfest draws over 150,000 spectators each year, and our tournament is at the heart of it all.”
According to Lakatosh, the tournament this year will move to a round robin / pool play structure in the best interest of the players. This change enhances the tournament in the following ways:
- Safety: In previous years, the athletes played five or six games in a row in the July heat. The round robin style of play will allow more effective management of the tournament and more down time for athletes between games
- Greater number of games: It will provide a greater number of minimum games (3) to all teams. This will allow athletes to get the most out of the tournament, and will accommodate traveling teams with a more productive schedule throughout the weekend.
- Game management: It will allow the tournament director to more effectively manage the tournament and set a more defined schedule, so coaches, players and parents ultimately have a better idea of when the next game will take place.
The registration fee for the tournament is $125 per team, which includes a t-shirt for every player on the team, a sports drink after every game, trophies for 1st and 2nd place and for the MVP and a team parking pass. The tournament will be held at Cedar Beach Park in Allentown at the following times:
- Thursday: 6 - 10 pm
- Friday: 6 - 10 pm
- Saturday: 8 am - 10 pm
- Sunday: 8 am - 8 pm
This year also marks the first annual Sportsfest 'Robert Edwards Memorial' Scholarship. This year’s award will be $1,000 and will be made payable to the higher education institution that the recipient chooses to attend. SportsFest is looking for a player who exemplifies all of the qualities of a student athlete and a community leader. This is not an MVP scholarship award, in fact, the most minimal consideration will be placed on athletic achievement. When the athlete begins his academic career at the higher education institution of choice, SportsFest will present payment to that institution. This is a nontransferable award. If the player does not use the scholarship, it will go back into the foundation for next year.
The SportsFest nomination form reads (in part): “Robert Edwards was a man who exemplified leadership, community involvement and the development of young people both academically and athletically. He inspired countless lives and preached personal betterment among city youth. Mr. Edwards’ life was tragically cut short by a senseless act of violence, but his legacy and all that he stood for will stay with us all forever. This scholarship is a dedication to his memory and his efforts to help build a better community, a better student, a better athlete.”
In addition to sponsoring the basketball tournament, St. Luke’s will hold a series of sports- and health-related clinics and demonstrations near the basketball tournament location on Friday, Saturday and Sunday (July 25 – 27) that will include topics such as:
- Good sports nutrition and healthy eating
- Core stability and training
- Physical therapy
Watch The Morning Call and Express-Times newspapers for more details.