ROXBURY, NJ – Roxbury High School alumnus Dan Exter is hard at work preparing for the third annual Layups 4 Life basketball tournament which, for the first time, will be open to players as young as 13.
The tournament raises money to help fund cancer research at Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center (MSKCC), the hospital that successfully treated Exter when he was diagnosed with Acute Lymphoblastic Leukemia (ALL) in 2013. This year’s Layups 4 Life tournament will take place at Roxbury High School on April 29.
“We’re expanding our age set,” said Exter, 30, who now lives in Jersey City. “The last two years it was 15 but this year it’s 13. I had parents and kids, who were 13 and 14, coming up to me asking if they could play. I feel there was enough of demand from people asking about that age bracket to give it a shot. We’ll see what happens.”
Layups 4 Life is a 3-on-3 tournament that takes place in the high school gymnasium. It costs $30 per player and there is a maximum of four players allowed on a team. Registrations can be done online; the deadline to register is April 24.
In its first year, Layups 4 Life raised about $10,000, said Exter. Last year, the event pulled in a bit more than $18,000 he said.
About $10,000 of last year’s money was earmarked to help fund work being done by Dr. Bart Getta, a member of the Bone Marrow Transplant Team at MSKCC. Exter said he recently, and unexpectedly, got to meet Getta, an Australian.
“When I went for a checkup recently and met with my doctor she said, ‘The doctor whose research you funded is here today,’” Exter said. “So I met him and we had a great conversation. To hear him say, ‘Thank you for helping me fund my research,’ gave me goosebumps. It was an incredible feeling.”
In addition to registering players, Exter is also looking for donations and businesses to sponsor the tournament. “Our donation pages are open,” he said. “People can email me and I am happy to discuss how to become a sponsor.”