The tenth anniversary of The Scholarship Fund for Inner-City Children Basketball Festival will celebrate with three straight days of outstanding high school basketball on January 4th, 5th and 6th at Kean University’s Harwood Arena with a total of ten games.
One of the highlights of the events is the Saturday doubleheader that has Seton Hall Prep against Roselle Catholic at 7 pm followed by St. Anthony High School facing Curtis High School of Staten Island on Saturday at 8:30 pm. The Jersey City – based Friars, led by Hall of Fame coach Bob Hurley, are 9-0 in SFIC Basketball Festival history. St. Anthony HS has been undefeated the last two seasons, winning the Tournament of Champions each time and ranked number one in the U.S. in 2010-2011.
The Festival starts off with a tripleheader on Friday at 5:15 pm with a girls’ game, matching Immaculate Heart Academy faces Gill St. Bernard’s, followed by national boy’s powerhouse St. Benedict’s Prep playing Life Center Academy and a very strong Hudson Catholic team against Cardinal McCarrick in the finale.
The five games on Sunday tip-off at 12 noon. The girls start the final day with Mount Saint Dominic Academy battling Trenton Catholic in a rematch of MSDA’s 2 point win from a year ago. Three straight boys games follow with Union Catholic against Bergen Catholic, Saint Peter’s Prep battling St. Joseph’s (Metuchen) and Marist tipping off against Paramus Catholic. The final game features the girl’s team from Roselle Catholic and Paramus Catholic.
“The SFIC Basketball Festival will again host a number of the state’s top basketball teams,” said Bill Fitzpatrick, a Westfield, New Jersey resident and the Director of the SFIC Basketball Festival. “Our festival will offer exciting action for fans and support the Scholarship Fund’s work to raise money for tuition assistance so children from low income families can attend Catholic Schools in the Archdiocese of Newark. With the enthusiastic support of the coaches and their schools we are able to create the best spectacle of high school basketball in the state.”
The basketball games have raised scholarship money for hundreds of young people during its nine years of existence. Fitzpatrick came up with the original idea for the Festival when he was looking to find an innovative fund raising idea as a member of the SFIC Board of Trustees.
“We are extremely grateful to Bill, the coaches, players and administrators who are involved with the Festival,” explained Maplewood resident Gerry O’Connor, the Executive Director of the SFIC. “We have a great group of student-athletes for the Festival. And, of course, we know that people that have played in the Festival have gone on to play at the NCAA and NBA level.”
The SFIC Basketball Festival is presented by Investors Bank and sponsored by the Star Ledger. For additional information, fans can call the SFIC office at (973) 497-4279 or log onto www.SFIChoops.com to purchase tickets on-line.