By Tyler Barth
The pounding of basketballs echoed over the weekend on the scorching court at the Cauldwell Playground, where 55 players pressed through intense humidity to raise money for the Morristown Neighborhood House.
“We here in Morristown are working hard to give back to the community,” said Detective Scott Pino, who came up with the idea for MoTown’s Finest 3 on 3 Basketball Tournament.
According to Pino, all money collected from the event will go to the Nabe, near the playground on Flagler Street, where residents of eight units were displaced by a fire in April.
Pino said police were determined to help those families. When resources were provided, police shifted their focus to the Nabe, which has been assisting immigrants and working families for more than a century.
Saturday’s event, which consisted of 11 teams of between three- and five players, was a knockout tourney. Games used half-court rules, so two games were played at a time.
It cost $85 to enter a team and $35 to enter individually. Pino said he anticipated the event would bring in about $5000.
While the games were played, Acting Police Chief Darnell Richardson and others manned the grill, selling burgers for $2, hot dogs for $1. Richardson represented Police Benevolent Association (PBA) Local 43, the local police union, one of the event’s sponsors.
Other sponsors included No Idea Sports and Grasshopper off the Green. Richardson was one of about 20 volunteers for the event.
“Morristown loves basketball,” said Derek Boudreau of Pequannock, whose team, Go Big or Go Home, won the tournament
“It’s a nice event, it’s for a good cause. It’s hot, but it’s better than rain!” Boudreau said.
Temperatures were expected to hold at around 95 degrees, and EMTs were on standby, with a stretcher already outside the ambulance in case of heat exhaustion.
Fortunately, nobody needed the stretcher.
Pino said he hopes to make this an annual event, possibly rotating sports and location.
Morristown Green correspondent Tyler Barth lives in Randolph and is a junior studying communications at Ramapo College.