Celebrating its 20th year, the Blue-Gold All-Star Basketball Games cap off the Delaware high school basketball season and highlight the top 30 senior male and female players in the state.
NEWARK (DE): On Saturday, the top 30 male and female high school basketball players in the state came together at the Bob Carpenter Center to compete in their final game – the All- Star basketball game. This is the athlete’s last game in the high school basketball arena, and if you’ve never been to an All-Star game, you don’t know what you’re missing.
“It is a wonderful opportunity to recognize these young people in their final appearance on the high school basketball stage in Delaware.”
The Games were founded by local attorney Morton R. Kimmel and are presented by Kimmel, Carter, Roman, Peltz and O’Neill PA and the Kimmel Spiller Charitable Foundation to benefit Best Buddies Delaware.
Kimmel, who has been battling multiple myeloma for the past few years, died at Christiana Hospital on Saturday while the games were taking place, according to his son Wayne.
To those who knew him, “Mort” was 77 years old, was inducted to the Delaware Basketball Hall of Fame on Jan 27th. Kimmel was also involved with the Delaware 87ers, an affiliate of the Philadelphia 76ers who played in the NBA league.
“He was an exemplary man who had a tremendous impact on local youth sports, charitable programs and multiple business partnerships. We are indebted to Mr. Kimmel for his role in introducing and advocating for 87ers basketball in Delaware. Our hearts are with his family during this time and the many, many people he touched and supported throughout the years. Mr. Kimmel will be missed and his influence will be felt in Delaware and beyond for generations to come.”
“Best Buddies Delaware is saddened by the recent passing of Morton R. Kimmel, Esq. He was a strong supporter of individuals with intellectual and developmental disabilities and our partnership with the Blue-Gold All-Star Basketball Games, which Mr. Kimmel founded in 1999, highlighted and promoted our mission of inclusion to a network of thousands of Delawareans.”
The Games which are family-friendly, had something for everyone. Held at the Bob Carpenter Center on the campus of the University of Delaware, there was a Kids Zone with interactive games and activities, a VIP reception for sponsors, a pre-Games basketball clinic for middle school students, entertainment during breaks and between games, local celebrity autograph signing, and half-time contests among the players (3-point shot contest for the girls, slam dunk contest for the boys).
In addition to Game Day, the players are celebrated at the annual Blue-Gold All-Star Banquet on Thursday of game week and are honored with a welcome and presentations at Legislative Hall in Dover on Wednesday of game week.
The legacy of the Blue-Gold All-Star Basketball Games is the long-term effect that the success of the event has on people with intellectual and developmental disabilities who participate in Best Buddies Delaware. Financial support allows Best Buddies to deliver the mission of inclusion to more and more people with disabilities in communities throughout the First State.
Kimmel, tied the game more than 20 years ago to charity which made it an even bigger success. “We’ve got to turn this into something special,” Larry Kimmel said he remembered his dad saying. “This should be a real event. This should raise money for charity. This should get student-athletes scholarships to colleges. This should be an educational event throughout the week.”
Local politicians such as Governor John Carney, Senator Thomas Carper, and Congresswoman Lisa Blunt Rochester made an appearance and even had a few words at center court. They also participated with half time on-court events.
Governor Carney was seen walking about in green to commemorate St. Patrick’s Day, talking to spectators, players, and families who showed up for the all-day event. Congresswoman Lisa Blunt Rochester received the 2018 Community Leadership Award from Best Buddies of Delaware.
The girl’s game started first at 1:00 P.M., 30 girls were selected by a panel of coaches from a pool of nominations by local coaches. 15 of the girls represent Kent and Sussex County and 15 girls represented New Castle County. The coaches were also nominated by their peers for the prestigious honor of coaching the All-Stars. The boys and the boy’s coaches were also selected in the same manner.
The Blue team won the girls’ contest 54-52 before following with an 89-83 victory in the boys’ game. The Blue, which represented New Castle County schools, also won the girls’ three-point shooting contest as a team.
The Gold’s Thomas Hoskins of Lake Forest won the slam dunk contest with a perfect score of 30 in the final round. Hoskins made all three of his dunks in the first round to make the finals and used a reverse throw down to win it.