For the Hudson Catholic High School Hawks, the Jan. 8 Hoopfest was a win-win. Not only did the basketball team defeat rival Seton Hall, but they also helped raise money for a good cause.
By participating in the 18th Annual High School Hoopfest at the Roselle Catholic High School gymnasium, the team played a role in raising $100,000, which will be used to fund tuition assistance scholarships for underprivileged students attending schools in the Archdiocese of Newark.
Here’s how the game was described by The Scholarship Fund for Inner-City Children (SFIC), the organization behind the effort.
“A 24-5 third quarter in favor of Hudson Catholic led the Hawks to a 65-43 win in men’s basketball over Seton Hall Prep in Game 2 of Hoopfest. The lead was just 28-22 at half-time, but Nick Marinello’s high-flying backcourt was too much for the Pirates to handle. Elijah Gertrude led with 17 points and Tahaad Pettiford added 14. Ranked ninth in New Jersey, Hudson Catholic moved to 5-1, while Seton Hall Prep fell to 6-2.
Approximately 300 spectators attended three games featuring some of New Jersey’s most talented basketball players. Five of the six participating teams represented four archdiocesan schools: Roselle Catholic, Hudson Catholic Regional High School, Seton Hall Preparatory School and Union Catholic Regional High School. Several players on these teams were themselves SFIC scholarship holders.
In addition to the basketball games, the SFIC recognized the academic achievements of a few of the players. Those with the highest grades on all six teams — including Columbia’s non-archdiocesan high school team — received a plaque recognizing their achievements in the classroom.
“Everyone had a great time,” said Teresa Gilhooly, SFIC’s special events manager. “The children had a lot of fun. It was a great way to celebrate the student athletes and highlight the schools in the Archdiocese. And the money raised will make a difference in the lives of many children.
Started in 2004, High School Hoopfest has become a beloved tradition for SFIC, with many NBA stars like Kyle Anderson and Karl-Anthony Towns having participated over the years. All proceeds from event ticket sales support SFIC scholarships, which benefit children at or below the poverty line regardless of ethnicity, gender, race or religion so that they may attend private or parochial schools in the Archdiocese of Newark. Learn more about SFIC and its scholarships here.