ROXBURY, NJ – Between organizing the second annual Layups 4 Life tournament at Roxbury High School and playing in it, Dan Exter found himself beyond exhausted by the time the last ball was put away Sunday afternoon.
But it was a good type of exhaustion.
Exter had pulled together 40 teams of charity-minded basketball players whose entry fees resulted in thousands of dollars to be donated to Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center (MSKCC), the place that Exter credits with saving his life. Exter, a Roxbury High School graduate who survived cancer after being treated at MSKCC in 2013 created the 3-on-3 Layups 4 Life basketball tournament last year.
“This year was definitely another success,” said Exter today. “Having 40 teams register for our tournament for a second consecutive year was great. I would have loved to try and have 50 teams, but I'll take 40 any day of the week. We will definitely try and shoot for 50 next year.”
Exter said this year’s Layups 4 Life went smoothly. He and his girlfriend, Dana Levine, were no longer novices, he pointed out. “With a year under our belt, Dana and I definitely knew what to expect and how to handle the flow of the day much better than last year,” said Exter. “It also went much smoother because of our incredible volunteer staff.”
Exter praised his parents, and Levine’s, for helping. He thanked friends too, “and, most importantly, the help of (Roxbury Rotary Club President) Steve Alford, (Roxbury High School teacher) Allyson Spargo, Justin Spargo, (Roxbury High School Athletics Director) Stu Mason, their incredible Interact Club members and so many others who signed up to volunteer.”
While it was an exhausting day, it was also very enjoyable, said Exter. “It was absolutely fun,” he said. “Nothing gives me more pleasure than seeing the kind of turnout like we did on Sunday. To see all the support and people rallying together to play in our tournament and support our cause, it was great.”
Exter saved special praise for Gogel Auto Sales Manager Adam Auferio. He said Auferio, joined by friends and family, created three teams and played in honor of Auferio's brother, Bryan, who died from cancer at 37. They also jointly donated $500, said Exter.
“That totally caught me by surprise and I cannot be more thankful to Adam and his family for making such an incredible and generous donation,” said Exter.
As of today, Exter said he is still counting and collecting money. Even before the event, the effort had raised more than $10,000 and Exter believes up to $4,000 more was raised on Sunday.
He stressed that people can still donate online. “We will keep 2016 donations open until June, most likely,” he said.