SOMERSET, NJ- As the world battles the coronavirus that has spread across the globe and shut down almost everything -- including sports -- basketball teams in the area are doing everything they can to provide relief.
Anthony Melesurgo, the Bound Brook boys basketball coach formed the 2021 Skyland vs. GMC (Greater Middlesex County) Coaches vs. Coronavirus Challenge, which is scheduled to be played on Jan. 9, 2021 at Bound Brook.
All proceeds from the event are going toward COVID-19 research.
In the four-game showcase, Franklin will be one of the participating teams. The Warriors will take on Timothy Christian at 3:00 p.m.
“Anthony reached out to me a couple of weeks back with the idea and we immediately jumped at the opportunity,” Franklin head coach Tony Mento said. “This isn’t a basketball thing, but it is a teamwork thing and we must all work as a team now more than ever to combat the COVID-19 virus. If basketball teams can come together in competition and contribute in some small way to hopefully finding a cure, then the Franklin players and coaches are all in. I applaud coach Melesurgo for his efforts with this event.”
Sports has a way of bringing people together, and by next January, the hope is everything will be back to normal. But, research and help will never stop.
“I think this unique and difficult time in our global history has given us all a chance to reflect on what’s truly important,” Mento said.
Melesurgo is appreciative of the support and provided details about the event.
“I put together this event thinking it would be a great way to have area coaches get involved and contribute in some way to this tragic event that has impacted all of us in some way. The outcry of support and participation was overwhelming. I was not surprised by the support I received. I have known so many of these guys for so many years and they are all great coaches but even better people. The plan as of right now is for each school to donate part of the registration fee and for Bound Brook HS to donate ticket sales from the game to a relevant COVID-19 fund or research project. It is hard at this stage to determine which organization or charity funds should be allocated to (as situations may change by January). We want to make sure we are giving to the area that needs the most.
“In addition to this great cause, we have a great day of basketball planned. We will also be honoring local nurses and doctors from local hospitals throughout the day.”
In 2019-20, Mento’s Warriors went 14-14. Franklin advanced to the second round of the Somerset County Tournament and the quarterfinals of the North Jersey, Section 2, Group 4 state tournament. Junior Joshua Kuroda-Grauer was selected to the Skyland Conference Delaware Division First Team and Anthony Milligan was picked for the Second Team.
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