Article Contributed by
Jamestown Gazette Staff
This will be the perfect event for a sunny summer day, though according to event organizer, Vicky Bardo, it is slated to go ahead rain-or-shine. It will tip off on the street courts in front of The Resource Center Administrative Building, 200 Dunham Avenue in Celoron, New York on Saturday, June 4, from 8:00 a.m. until 7:00 p.m. This popular event is traditionally staged on the first full weekend in June every year.
The Same But Different
“Everything is different this year, we’re on a roll!” Bardo said with enthusiasm while signing in the first team to register for Street Jam a few weeks ago (see photo on page 11).
“This is the 20th year for this street basketball tournament,” Bardo said. “For the first 14 years it was conducted as a Gus Macker event then we converted it to Street Jam in order to exercise more direct local control and to be more closely identified with The Resource Center in Jamestown.
In other changes, this year Street Jam will be a one day event and it will be played outside The Resource Center’s own building where better in-door changing, rest room, eating and other facilities can be found in instead of in the streets of downtown Jamestown.
“When we ran this event in Jamestown, the city and the parks department were wonderful partners and we will miss them,” Bardo said. “Our headquarters, however, are in Celeron and we have excellent facilities there for cooking, team changes and parking.”
One thing that has not changed is that the MASH Tent will once again be run by Ron Hasson and sponsored by AllStar. “Anything more than a skinned knee or jammed knuckle is rare,” Bardo said, “but we’ll be set up for whatever basketball can dish out.”
In addition, the event has been redesigned for 18-year-olds and under, no one older. “We needed to focus on the youth,” Bardo explained, “so this year we are only accepting 125 teams.”
“This is not a fundraiser as much as it is a ‘friend raiser’ and awareness builder for folks with disabilities,” Bardo added. “That’s at the core of our work.”
Street JAM is a three-on-three charity basketball tournament for youth ages 18 and under sponsored by Filling the Gap Inc. in concert with numerous local businesses and community non-profit organizations. All of the proceeds from the tournament with help provide services for persons with disabilities.
Teams have 4 members, 3 playing and one on the bench. Games are played to 15 points – or to the 20 minute time limit. The team ahead after 20 minutes wins.
The entry fees is $120 per team or $30 per player with 4 players per team. Age brackets are 8 & under | 9-10 | 11 – 12 | 13 – 14 | 15 – 16 | 17 – 18, with bracket determined by the oldest player. Teams are all-male or all-female only.
All registrations are by mail or completed with payment at Filling the Gap Inc., Attn: Street Jam, 92 Fairmount Avenue, Jamestown, NY 14701. Entry deadline: May 14th, 2016. No online registration this year. All teams must have 4 players. Here are a few more rules and players will learn more at registration.
Vicky Bardo has worked at Filling the Gap for 28 years and promises the Street Jam players will once again experience what she has experienced for all those years. “We are one big family. I am grateful for my coworkers. They are my team and my family.”