NEW YORK, NY - The Funsport Battle 4 the City All-Star game was played on Saturday at Baruch College.
It was supposed to be just a regular all-star game featuring some of the best players in the city. What it turned out to be was a game that still had some of the best players participating, just not all the kids on the original roster.
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The event, which was sponsored by Under Armour, was billed as a game between PSAL (Public Schools Athletic League) and CHSAA (Catholic High School Athletic Association) all-stars. Neither league was officially involved, but officials from the CHSAA advised players from their league to skip the event. Because of that warning, some players who did commit to play in the game decided not to show up.
There were two games scheduled. The first game was a "Futures" game which was supposed to feature some of the best freshmen and sophomores in the city. The second game was a game that showcased some of the best players in the entire city, but mostly seniors who will no longer play for their high school team.
The "Future Game" that was to have a mix of players on each roster turned out to be exclusively a PSAL future game. There were no players who currently play in the CHSAA in the game at all. One of those CHSAA parents said that players were threatened with a 6 game suspension if they played. The parent was also worried that their son would lose his college eligibility. That was enough to scare the parent and decide to keep their son out.
That was the position of the CHSAA despite the event being "perfectly fine" in regards to NCAA rules. If a player participated in the game, it would not jeopardize any player's eligibility.
There is a rule about how many all-star games a senior can play if they want to retain their college eligibility. As long as a college bound senior didn't play in more than two games including the Funsport All-Star game, they would be fine. It's not clear how many all-star games that non-seniors can play in, or if they are under the same rule.
There were some seniors who played at CHSAA schools who played in the game. Daniel Dingle and Nkereuwem Okoro, both from St. Raymond, were on the court. They were joined by Brian Bernardi from Xavarian. All three players already have scholarships to division one schools.
Still, the team that was supposed to be made up of exclusively Catholic league players had to be altered. Players who were on public school rosters were mixed in with the catholic school players to build the team so the game could be played.
There might have been a simple solution to the problem. If the event organizers didn't actually use "CHSAA" when the event was being promoted, then the game would probably went off without a hitch. The CHSAA actually organizes athletic activities for catholic schools. If the organizers had said that the players involved were from catholic schools and not the "CHSAA", all the kids would likely have played.
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