If you enjoy watching high school basketball, and you’re looking to do something a little different this coming weekend, you should plan to be at CASHS Field House.
For Martin Luther King weekend, Chambersburg is hosting the first Hoops For Harmony – Stand Against Racism event, and a huge event it will be. A total of 25 games will played at CASHS, involving 38 teams, from Friday at 4 p.m. through Sunday around 7:30 p.m.
The participants include 20 boys varsity teams and 11 girls varsity teams, plus Trojan JV and ninth-grade teams and opponents.
Chambersburg athletic director Ron Coursey has put together big events like this before at his former school, Woodland Hills near Pittsburgh, but this is the first basketball event of its size in this area.
“This event is really killing two birds with one stone,” Coursey said. “We are bringing in some great basketball to our tremendous facility, and we have a chance to champion Dr. King’s message of racial harmony. We’ve come a long way since his speech, but we still have a long way to go.”
The event will include boys and girls games, contests between public schools, private schools and prep schools, and an array of talent.
Chambersburg’s boys will face Cumberland Valley, the team that has handed the Trojans their only defeat so far, on Friday at 8:30 and then will play unbeaten Cedar Cliff on Saturday at 8:30. Chambersburg’s girls take on Cedar Cliff on Saturday.
Local prep school Scotland Prep opens the event Friday at 4 p.m. vs. Keystone Prep and closes it Sunday at 6:00 vs. Rock Creek Christian.
Perhaps the most prominent teams to play are Imhotep of Philadelphia (7:00 Saturday vs. Bishop Walsh), and St. Benedict’s of New Jersey (5:30 Saturday vs. Rock Creek, and 3:00 Sunday vs. Bishop Walsh).
“Imhotep has two kids ranked by ESPN in the top 60 nationally, and St. Benedict’s is always a traditionally strong program,” Coursey said.
Among other headliner games, Chester will play Keystone Prep on Saturday and Cumberland Valley on Sunday; York High and Harrisburg meet Saturday, and Harrisburg plays Aliquippa on Sunday.
Coursey, a former basketball coach who has contacts on the AAU scene, said, “When you plan something like this you have to focus on the matchups. You look at the teams and try to figure out which will be the best games. We wanted to showcase all levels. If you love basketball, it should be a great weekend.”
Admission is $10 per day, and unlimited re-entry is allowed. After expenses are covered, a donation will be made to the local Racial Reconciliation group. Frank Walker Law is the event sponsor and is covering the costs of lodging for the visiting teams.
When Coursey planned his events at Woodland Hills the last three years, both in football and basketball, the benefactor was fighting gun violence.
“When I do events like this, I like to have a cause,” Coursey said. “If you’re going to do a 72-hour event, it has to be personal. My family had been the victim of gun violence (his brother was unintentionally shot) and Woodland Hills had been dramatically affected by gun violence, so that was a good fit there.
“When I came to Chambersburg, I wanted to keep the spirit of that. One of the first groups I met was Racial Reconciliation, and, as an African-American male, it resonates with me.”
Mid Penn Broadcasting will air both of the Chambersburg boys games on live streams (free) at http://www.midpennbroadcasting.com, as well as three games Saturday — York High vs. Harrisburg girls, Woodland Hills vs. St. Francis girls and Columbia vs. Berlin-Brothers Valley boys.
The rest of the varsity games will be broadcast by Roxamore Sports Network (www.RoxamoreSports.com).
In this era of the pandemic, some schedule changes have already had to be made (5 teams have had to drop out), but Coursey has his fingers crossed that the rest of the teams will be able to play.
“We’re excited about hosting something of this level, and we’re looking forward to packing the field house,” Coursey said. “You may see some future pros playing, as well as a lot of good local kids.”
Revised Hoops For Harmony schedule
4:00 — Boys, Scotland Prep vs. Keystone Prep
5:30 — Girls, Woodland Hills vs. Linden Hall
7:00 — Boys, Woodland Hills vs. Berlin-Brothers Valley
8:30 — Boys, Cumberland Valley vs. Chambersburg
4:30 — 9th grade boys, Cumberland Valley vs. Chambersburg
6:00 — JV boys, Cumberland Valley vs. Chambersburg
10:00 a.m. — Girls, Cedar Cliff vs. Chambersburg
11:30 a.m. — Girls, Forest Hills vs. Imhotep
1:00 — Boys, Chester vs. Keystone Prep
2:30 — Boys, York High vs. Harrisburg
4:00 — Boys, Woodland Hills vs. Severn, Md.
5:30 — Boys, Rock Creek Christian, Md. vs. St. Benedict’s, N.J.
7:00 — Boys, Imhotep vs. Bishop Walsh, Md.
8:30 — Boys, Cedar Cliff vs. Chambersburg
12:00 — JV girls, Cedar Cliff vs. Chambersburg
1:30 — Girls, York High vs. Harrisburg
3:00 — Girls, Woodland Hills vs. St. Francis
4:30 — Boys, Columbia vs. Berlin-Brothers Valley
6:00 — JV boys, Cedar Cliff vs. Chambersburg
10:30 a.m. — Girls, St. Francis vs. North Allegheny
12:00 — Boys, Aliquippa vs. Harrisburg
1:30 — Boys, Imani Christian vs. West Catholic
3:00 — Boys, St. Benedict’s, N.J. vs. Bishop Walsh, Md.
4:30 — Boys, Chester vs. Cumberland Valley
6:00 — Boys, Scotland Prep vs. Rock Creek Christian, Md.