An annual tradition returns to the mountain next month at Crestwood High School for the 10th Annual Hoops for Hope on Tuesday, March 6.
Hoops for Hope, which raises funds for the American Cancer Society, has become an early Spring staple on the mountain and is a fun, family basketball event that can help beat the late winter blues. As has been the tradition, a six team bracket will play out among the Crestwood High School junior and senior classes, Crestwood School District faculty, and local law enforcement officials, and MYBL coaches and referees, as well as a new team this year from the American Cancer Society.
Crestwood graduate and cancer survivor, Luke Modrovsky took over as chair of the event when he was a junior at the high school and is now a junior in Sports Management and Communication Studies at Wilkes University. Modrovsky says he plans to release the game schedule on March 1, but knows that there will be a total of 8 ten-minute games and a halftime shootout. Wilkes-Barre/ Scranton Penguins mascot, Tux, will also be on hand to entertain the crowd and, as always, everyone’s favorite conclusion will involve someone being selected to cover a teacher in silly string.
Diagnosed with Retinoblastoma when he was 6 months old, Luke underwent chemotherapy and radiation, as well as the amputation of his left eye. While he says he has no memory of the ordeal, Luke and his family do mark April 1 as his cancer free anniversary.
“I never really think about it until maybe a week before or a week after. We may acknowledge the date and when you realize another year has gone by, its pretty amazing,” says Modrovsky. His excitement for the event is palpable as he explains how the previous dynasty of the Crestwood senior class has been shut out the last two years by the MYBL coaches. “We’ll just have to see who wins this year,” said Modrovsky, who paused before continuing an explanation as to why he coordinates this event year after year.
“I have always loved this event,“ he explains. “It is a family fun event with a competitive edge. People ask me why I still do this and its because its such a team effort; There’s a lot of people around me that make it easy.”
People like relay team coordinators, Dawn Shock and Regina Kloeker, A Ton of Graphics representative, Joe Powers, the Crestwood Key Club, and high school faculty member, Joseph Sainclair.
“Regina Kloeker and Dawn Shock have been great. Mr. Sainclair has been fantastic in helping me coordinate within the school since I don’t see everybody on a daily basis like I used to. People in Mountaintop love this event and it’s awesome,” relates Modrovsky.
The traditional t-shirt sale is online this year, thanks to A Ton of Graphics, and will be on the company’s website until February 22. During the games, there will be basket raffles and refreshments for purchase with all proceeds benefitting the Mountain Top Relay team, headed by Kloeker and Shock, that will participate in the NEPA Relay for Life at PNC field in June.
Originally started by Rice Elementary teacher, JoAnne Jones, with a four team bracket of Crestwood teachers, the event evolved over the years to include law enforcement officials, students, and now, MYBL coaches and referees. Modrovsky took over four years ago; his background and interests making it an easy transition.
“The event flows perfectly with my aspirations,” explains Modrovsky. “Seeing this event benefit the American Cancer Society and being a sports lover, as well as a former MYBL player, made this a great fit.”
“I’ve learned a lot from different people by doing this and continue to learn year after year,” continues Modrovsky. “Not only is it’s a strong project in sports management, but a fun event where you can contribute to a cause that you are a part of.”
Over the years, the crowds have also increased, necessitating advance ticket sales in the high school lobby.
“I root for rain; If it rains, we pack the gym,” jokes Modrovsky who said that in the ten years the event has been held, a snow date has never had to be used.
Doors open for the event at 5:15pm on March 6 and games begin at 6:00pm. Adults are $5 and Students/Senior Citizens are $3. Luke encourages everyone to avoid a long line by purchasing their tickets via pre-sale in the High School lobby via the Crestwood Key Club from 10:45am to 12:45pm beginning Thursday, March 1st and Tshirt sales can be found at atonofgraphics.com.For more information on the event, contact Luke Modrovsky, Event Chair, at (570) 905-3201.
“I enjoy the competitive but charitable spirit of all the players that have played these games in the past,” concludes Modrovsky. “They put on a great show and everybody always seems to enjoy it.”