Sports

Madison Hosts Charity Hoops Event for Children's Brain Cancer

48e330bc3ab7e4268b8b_IMG_20180113_125830_1.jpg
The Lady Dodgers basketball team secured a 53-24 victory over Vernon. Credits: Lindsay Ireland
cfc223623e4c979497da_IMG_20180113_144645.jpg
Madison boys basketball fell 46-55 to Fair Lawn. Credits: Lindsay Ireland
bad25ed43c37b0e26d6c_IMG_20180113_134248.jpg
Coach Reel thanks Jacovini for participating in Saturday's charity event. Credits: Lindsay Ireland
0999ab96ad85293a0c6c_IMG_20180113_142159.jpg
Tables packed with $10 "I Believe in a Cure" t-shirts accepted donations throughout the event. Credits: Lindsay Ireland
48e330bc3ab7e4268b8b_IMG_20180113_125830_1.jpg

MADISON, NJ – When Joe Reel learned his second-grade student Spencer Jacovini was diagnosed with a brain tumor, he jumped into action. 

Reel, who at the time was an assistant basketball coach at Governor Livingston, founded the “Believe in a Cure” basketball charity event in Jacovini’s honor. 

In his first year as Madison’s head basketball coach, Reel has brought his fundraiser to the Rose City. Madison High School hosted its first “Believe in a Cure” event on Saturday.

Sign Up for E-News

Jacovini, now a seventh-grader, became an honorary Dodger for the day, received Madison jersey and joined the team on the bench throughout the event. Though the young student was able to beat cancer, the treatments left him blind. 

The Lady Dodgers (5-4) clinched a fourth straight victory at Saturday’s event, a 53-24 win over Vernon (1-9). Reel said this year was the first that a girls basketball team participated in “Believe in a Cure.” Fair Lawn defeated the boys team 46-55. 

Girls head coach Stephen Hughes said he and his team were excited to be part of the event. 
“It opens your mind to realize you can help other people,” he said. 

Though Jacovini inspired Reel to hold the “Believe in a Cure” fundraiser, the event—now in its fifth year—has evolved into a way for Reel to inspire his players. 

“This provides more life lessons than an entire season,” Reel said. “Getting (players) to know Spencer and seeing his outlook on life and how he’s able to fight through all the adversity is just phenomenal.” 

Reel said he was happy with the community’s receptiveness to this new event, which raised nearly $3,000 for the Children’s Brain Tumor Foundation on Saturday. 

“Everybody has been affected by cancer at some point, whether it be a friend or a family member,” he said. 

For some Madison High School students and staff, this event was sure to hit home after the Jan. 1 death of former girls basketball coach Gene Melleno, who passed away from leukemia. 

Reel said he has high hopes for next year’s fundraiser and is open to any suggestions that might help make the event bigger and better in 2019. 

“I’m just really looking forward to growing this into a big community event,” he said.

TAP Into Another Town's News:

You May Also Be Interested In

Sign Up for E-News

Madison

Madison Area YMCA TOGETHERHOOD Committee Enjoys Super Bowl with Cheshire Home Residents

February 18, 2018

The Madison Area YMCA’s TOGETHERHOOD committee enjoyed a Super Bowl party on game day with residents at Cheshire Home, a provider of residential and rehabilitative services to young adults with spinal cord injuries or neurological impairments. Cheshire Home is located in Florham Park.

TOGETHERHOOD, the Y’s Signature Program for Social Responsibility, empowers members to plan ...

AtlantiCast

AtlantiCast: Episode 12

On this week’s episode of AtlantiCast, decade of excellence makes headlines, as Atlantic Health’s place on Fortune Magazine’s 100 Best Companies to Work For List leads off the newest episode of AtlantiCast. Also on this week’s show, check out the newest “hybrid” operating room at Morristown Medical Center and find out how Atlantic Health is helping local ...

Upcoming Events

Carousel_image_486de3759baadce117d9_102482035_0

Sun, February 25, 1:00 PM

Madison

Open House at 29 Woodland Road, Madison

Real Estate

Carousel_image_6d89484cb6e69075727b_metc_2016_corner_view

Sat, March 17, 11:00 AM

Museum of Early Trades & Crafts, Madison

Can a Leprechaun Be Caught?

Arts & Entertainment Education