EAST BRUNSWICK, NJ - On February 25th, Fast Break Basketball Buddy Ball celebrated their 10th Annual All-Star game at Churchill Jr. High School. There was a big crowd in attendance along with a number of dignitaries including New Jersey State Assemblywoman Nancy Pinkin, East Brunswick Mayor Brad Cohen, School Superintendent Dr. Victor Valeski and other members of the school board and township government.
East Brunswick’s own Greg T of Z100's Elvis Duran and the Morning Show served as the game emcee and got the crowd energized as he introduced the “All-Stars” from the Blue and Red All-Star teams. The crowd was also introduced to the Buddy Ball mascots – “Buddy” and “PAL” who kept the crowd entertained throughout the game with their antics.
As the game got underway, the Buddies showed off their basketball skills, dribbling, passing, and shooting, while working together as a team, offering some amazing passes and shots throughout the 1st half.
Halftime started with donations to the Buddy Ball program by the EBHS Boys Varsity Basketball Booster Club and Bishop Ahr National Honor Society. The donations were recommended by PAL volunteers who have been in the Buddy Ball program for years.
Greg T once again energized the crowd, this time by introducing East Brunswick’s own American Idol Jax, who has been battling thyroid cancer. Being back in her hometown, Jax seemed happy to be sharing this special day with her new-found Buddies and PALs. After taking pictures with each team, she then got on the court and became a PAL for a number of Buddies. (Jax has recently released a new EP entitled Funny. Jax will perform at the Knitting Factory in Brooklyn on March 4.)
The two teams traded baskets to the end, and the game ended in a tie. Even though everyone came to watch a basketball game, they witnessed much more. This was a day about love, sharing, and caring. Every person that walked out of Churchill Jr. High School seemed to be a better person for having taken part in this special event.
Fast Break Basketball’s Buddy Ball program is designed to provide an opportunity for special needs children and young adults (Buddies) to enjoy the game of basketball in a competitive setting, while fostering good sportsmanship and steady improvement in basketball skills. The PALs (Jr. High School and High School volunteers) assist and support their Buddies all season long.