PHILADELPHIA, Sept. 10, 2014 — Dozens of school children in the School District of Philadelphia were the ultimate winners in state Sen. Anthony Hardy Williams’ “Ultimate Back 2 School Basketball Challenge,” Aug. 30, at the Kingsessing Recreation Center.
The contest pitted 16 basketball teams against each other and attracted more than 500 fans and supporters.
In the end, a team representing the Comegys School (Rasheen Crews and the Foundation for a Better Society) beat a team representing the Alcorn School (Rep. Jordan Harris), 43-41, to win the tournament and the donated school supplies the senator collected leading up to the event.
“We love basketball and we love when our children do well in school,” Sen. Williams said before the start of the challenge. “Staging a great basketball tournament and helping to ensure that our children will have the supplies they need to do well in school is a great combination.
“The Comegys-Alcorn championship was a great game, and we all felt better knowing dozens of Philly school children are now better prepared to learn this year,” Williams said.
Williams will visit Comegys at 2 p.m., Thursday, Sept. 11. The school is at 5100 Greenway Ave.
Before the tournament, all attendees and players were asked to donate notebooks, backpacks, pencils and other school supplies. The champion was then allowed to donate all of the collected school supplies from the tournament to the school they represented.
Comegys won the donated school supplies but Sen. Williams said students who attended the Back 2 School Basketball Challenge also received bookbags filled with school supplies that were generously donated by the Jayhawks Youth Association and Philadelphia District Attorney Seth Williams.
Before the start of the tournament, Sen. Williams challenged elected officials who attended (picture) to a foul shot competition.
Councilman Kenyatta Johnson, Rep. James Roebuck, Rep. Jordan Harris, DA Seth Williams and Sen. Williams competed in the impromptu event but it was Rep. Harris who won the competition. The money they donated will be delivered to an anti-violence community group.
“We had great fun playing hoops and helping our children do well in school,” Sen. Williams said following the event. “I am grateful for everyone who worked hard to make this challenge happen and thank all of the teams and their fans for coming out.
“This will not be the last time we do the Ultimate Back 2 School Basketball Challenge. We are already working to make next year’s event bigger and better,” the senator said.
Sen. Williams organized the basketball challenge in collaboration with The Philly Commission and locally elected officials, including Councilman Johnson, Councilwoman Jannie Blackwell, DA Seth Williams, Rep. Ron Waters, Rep. Jordan Harris, Rep. James Roebuck and Evelyn Sample-Oates, chief of family and community engagement with the School District of Philadelphia.
Alisha Jackson and The Beautification Project provide free beverages and DJ RudeBoi played music. Attendees also bought food from a variety of vendors.
Teams & the schools represented:
Rep. Jordan Harris — Alcorn School
Sen. Anthony Hardy Williams — Anderson School
Mont Brown/ARF — Bartram High School
Rep. Ron Waters — Bryant School
Councilman Kenyatta Johnson/Peace Not Guns — Childs School
Rasheen Crews/The Foundation for a Better Society — Comegys School
Isaiah Thomas — Frankford High School
Bouncy on Wheels — Hardy Williams Mastery Charter
Rep. James Roebuck — Harrington School
Kings Rule Together — King High School
Councilwoman Jannie Blackwell — Lea School
Anton Moore/Unity in the Community — McDaniel School
Nehemiah Davis/Nehemiah Davis Foundation — MCS Charter
Tyrique Glasgow/Young Chances Foundation — Miracle Temple Christian Academy
DA Seth Williams — Overbrook Elementary
Don Cave/Barber Money Team (BMT) — Penn Wood Middle