Larry Kimmel Announces Schedule for the 2016 Blue-Gold All-Star Basketball Games
Set to be held on Saturday, March 19 at the Bob Carpenter Center, the Games will feature face-offs between the top high school senior basketball players from northern Delaware and the top high school senior basketball players from southern Delaware, with a girls’ game scheduled for 1:30 p.m. and the boys’ game tipping-off at 4:00 p.m. Former Harlem Globetrotters referee Joe Richmond will officiate the games and NBC10 Reporter Tim Furlong will emcee throughout the day. Event proceeds will benefit Best Buddies Delaware, a nonprofit that pairs children and adults with intellectual and developmental disabilities (IDD) in one-to-one friendships with volunteers from the community.
New features this year include a $10,000 shot contest sponsored by Discover and a special skills clinic for middle school players before the Games, presented by the Delaware Interscholastic Basketball Coaches Association. For $35, students will receive two tickets to the Games and a commemorative Blue-Gold t-shirt and can enjoy a 90 minute clinic focusing on the knowledge and skills necessary to play basketball at the high school level, a meet and greet with members of the Blue-Gold All-Star teams, and a free lunch.
Morton Kimmel, who has been actively involved in charity work throughout his career, founded the Blue-Gold Basketball Games in 1999 in order to support both the high school basketball community and individuals with IDD. For the past few years, Blue-Gold Basketball has become a vital source of annual funding for Best Buddies Delaware, and proceeds from the Games have directly enabled the organization to establish Buddies programs in middle schools throughout the state. Last year, the Games raised more than $100,000 for Best Buddies and drew a crowd of more than 4,000 spectators.
Kimmel Carter is a presenting sponsor for Blue-Gold Basketball, and members of the firm enjoy attending and volunteering at the Games every year. After years of assisting with Blue-Gold Basketball and playing in the annual Eagles and Local Celebrity Sponsors game, Managing Partner Larry Kimmel succeeded Morton Kimmel as chair of the Blue-Gold Basketball Board of Trustees in 2013. One of the top three all-time scorers in the history of Tower Hill School, Larry was selected to play on the “Blue” all-star team when he was a senior, and was recruited to play basketball and baseball at Cornell University.
“Blue-Gold Basketball means a lot to me for a number of reasons,” Larry says. “It’s hugely rewarding to know that the Games make a difference in the lives of individuals with disabilities, but I also believe that Blue-Gold Basketball can have a real impact on the student athletes and high school basketball in general. We really try to make the Games a meaningful and memorable experience beyond the athletic component.”
Committed to the idea that the Games can help the student athletes to grow both as players and as students and citizens, the Blue-Gold Basketball board invites more 100 college coaches to attend the Games every year. Since the Games started, dozens of all-star team members have received scholarships and made the decision to advance their education specifically due to recruiting on game day.
The student athletes and the honorary Best Buddies “coaches” – high school students with IDD who are matched with one of the all-star teams – are also invited to attend special events with various Delaware leaders in the week leading up to the Games. On Wednesday, March 16, the group will attend a Superior Court presentation led by Judge Robert Young; a lunch with AJ Roop, the senior criminal strategist in Attorney General Matt Denn’s office; a Delaware House of Representatives session at Legislative Hall in Dover, where they will have the chance to introduce themselves to the group; and a meeting and individual photo session with Governor Markell.
The students will also hear from speakers at the all-star team practices on Tuesday, March 15 and during the Blue-Gold Basketball banquet on Thursday, March 18 at Dover Downs, where Delaware State Representative Harvey Kenton will be honored for his service to the community before an expected crowd of 600 people. Delaware boxing legend, entrepreneur and philanthropist Dave Tiberi will be honored and inducted into the Blue-Gold Basketball Hall of Fame at the Games on Saturday.
“I love the fact that through the Games, the student athletes and the young people in the Best Buddies program have the chance to hear from exciting speakers and to see how government and the civil justice system work firsthand,” Larry says. “The student athletes also learn valuable lessons about the importance of public service and the needs of the intellectually and developmentally disabled community.”
The Games are meant to unite people throughout the state, including high school students, coaches, teachers and parents from all three counties, around a common purpose – celebrating high school basketball, along with the intellectually and developmentally disabled community, Larry says.
“When you love basketball the way that I do, and you know how much these kids love it too, seeing the sport have this kind of positive effect is really an amazing feeling.”
Please visit www.bestbuddiesdelaware.org for the full event schedule and to purchase tickets for the Games and the Blue-Gold Basketball banquet, or to register for the middle school skills clinic. For information about sponsorships or to make a contribution, please contact Best Buddies Philadelphia and Delaware Area Director Tom Waite at 302-691-3187 or at TomWaite@bestbuddies.org, and if you are interested in playing in the Eagles-Celebrity Sponsors game, please contact Larry Kimmel at firstname.lastname@example.org for more information.