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Event Recap: Sean Moran Summer Slam

Updated: Aug 1, 2019

by Krista Vellis

Event organizers and participants at the 2nd Annual Sean Moran Summer Slam at Tamblyn Field

The Second Annual Sean Moran Summer Slam took place at Rutherford’s Tamblyn Field on Saturday, July 27th. With over seventy 6th, 7th and 8th grade boys and girls participating, the courts were filled with family members and friends cheering on their favorite team.

The tournament opened with event organizer, Tom Lewis taking the microphone and giving homage to Sean Moran. “He was my coach when I attended St. Mary High School and then became a dear friend of mine. He believed that life’s greatest lessons were taught through basketball. We host this tournament as a way to pay tribute to his memory. The money raised from today will be used to provide needed equipment to the recreation and travel programs in town.” He then went on to thank the Moran family for all of their support.

The girls’ division was comprised of two Rutherford teams coached by Sherri Herninko and Ray Dillon and two out-of-town teams, the Kearny Kardinals and NJ Freedom, based out of Oakland, NJ. The four girls teams took the courts first. While those two games, each consisting of two 12-minute running halves, were being played the boys enjoyed bagels donated by Steve Cuccinelli.

Once the girls were finished, the boys took the court. The boys’ division was made up of four Rutherford teams coached by Al Anderson, Mike Scheibe, Jamie Hetzel and Rich Doyle . At the end of the day, the best of three qualifier games played for the championship.

Kearny Kardinals played NJ Freedom for the championship with Kearny Kardinals winning 15 to 11. The boys’ championship game was a nail-biter with Coach Hetzel’s team beating Coach Doyle's team by one point, resulting in a 23 to 22 victory.

Winners of the girls' division, the Kearny Kardinals, pose with event sponsor Jim Rizzo of BCB Bank

BCB Bank sponsored the event and made sure everyone was well fed. Spectators and players enjoyed feasting on hot dogs, sausage, burgers and ice cream between games. Chairs and tables were set under huge tents to make sure players were able to hide from the sun. A raffle was held halfway through the tournament where Rich Doyle won a week of basketball camp donated by Hoop Academy.

Winners of the boys' division coached by Jamie Hetzel, pose with relatives of Sean Moran and Jim Rizzo of BCB Bank.

I caught up with Jim Rizzo of BCB Bank to discuss his company’s participation. “I was happy to sponsor this event. I know how much this program gives back to the community and I wanted to help in any way I could.”

Each player left the tournament with a drawstring bag, reversible basketball tank top, and a day of exercise showing that Sean Moran’s influence on youth sports lives on in the smiles of the players that attended the Second Annual Sean Moran Summer Slam.

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