By JOHN ANDERSON
HENRIETTA — The high school basketball season is not quite over for some of the top players in Section V, and they get a chance to not only wear their school colors one last time, but play in front of a large crowd for a great cause.
The Greater Rochester Ronald McDonald All-Star Basketball Game has raised over $350,000 for families to stay at the house while they have a child being treated at Golisano’s Children’s Hospital at Strong Memorial.
The girls game is at 1 p.m. and the boys play at 3 p.m. at Rush-Henrietta Senior High School. The cost is $5 and tickets are available from the players or at the door.
Playing in the girls game is Jane Spitulnik, a senior from Hornell. She is on the Gold Team with a few familiar faces, Riley Stowe of Avoca-Prattsburgh, Tatum Smyth of Pal-Mac and Marley Adams and Emily Costello of Wellsville. They will be coached by Todd Julien of Pittsford Mendon and Rick Krzewinski of Byron-Bergen.
Andrew Morrow of Dansville who has picked up several post-season honors, will play for the boys’ Red Team with Canisteo-Greenwood’s Hunter McCaffery. Pacey Hopkins, fresh of a state championship run for Avoca-Prattsburgh is also on the Red Team with Landon Danaher from Bolivar-Richburg. The team is coached by Brian Putnam of Avoca-Prattsburgh and Troy Prince of Hilton.
A late addition to the boys roster is Antoine McFadden of Eugenio Maria de Hostos Charter School in Rochester.
Madalynn Hoffman of Arkport-Canaseraga and Karmela Leasure of Bath-Haverling were selected as all-star cheerleaders.
It is the first time the game has been held in two years because of the pandemic.
“It’s so exciting to be back after not having a game the last two years,” said Rich Dibble, the game chairman. “We were all set to have the 2020 games and had to shut it down. And of course last year we didn’t have the games.
“However, both years, we went through and nominated seniors who deserved to be Ronald McDonald House All-Stars, made a book and distributed them to the media. But we didn’t have the practices, the banquet and the games which everyone loves,” Dibble added.
That has all changed.
“This is our first banquet in three years and we are so excited,” Dibble said of the Wednesday night banquet. “We love watching these young, student-athletes play. This is your one last chance to play in your school uniform and play for something bigger than yourself. They should be proud to be selected, and hopefully have a great time and put on a show for the fans on Saturday.”
Dibble said there are so many great stories around the cause. Jim and Karen Insley, formerly of Wellsville, currently of Delevan, are the keynote speakers at the banquet. Jim Insley was a Section V coach of the year and Section V champion coach. His family used the house in 2000 and 2001 when their son, Bryce was sick.
“It’s a home away from home for families who have sick children and the need is pretty high at the Golisano Children’s Hospital,” Dibble said. “Basketball officials Carlo and Patti Lorenzetti were the first family to ever use this house. Their daughter, fortunately went on to get healthy and is a nurse and giving back to the Children’s Hospital and the Ronald McDonald House.
“We have so many over the years who have volunteered at the game and wound up using the house. A lot of people from out of town need the house when faced with a crisis and they have a comforting place to stay,” Dibble added.
For a story on the banquet and keynote speaker Jim Insley (the former Canaseraga and Wellsville coach) and his wife, Karen Insley, click HERE
There are up-to-the-minute updates on Twitter at @Roc_RM_AllStars
Here are the rosters and other photos: