Event at Woodland Hills has larger purpose than basketball showcase

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Sunday, January 13, 2019 | 6:48 PM


Thirty-seven high school basketball teams will play 28 games over three days this weekend at Woodland Hills.

There will be some exceptional teams and players to watch. But the MLK Weekend Stand Against Violence Showcase is about something larger.

This will be quite an event, for sure, but little will be made about who wins or loses.

“It is a huge undertaking, but it is well worth it to shine a light on the issue of gun violence that has affected the Woodland Hills community,” Woodland Hills athletic director Ron Coursey said. “We are using a weekend of great high school basketball to raise awareness.”

Boys and girls teams from Pennsylvania, Ohio, Maryland, Virginia, North Carolina, New Jersey, and Washington, D.C., will play from Saturday to Monday at the school’s two gymnasiums.

It isn’t March, but this event angles to stop the madness.

Organizers tout the event as, “A great opportunity for the greater Pittsburgh area to enjoy an exciting weekend of basketball with an emphasis on combating violence in our respective communities.”

There are 17 teams from Western Pennsylvania scheduled to attend, including Latrobe, Bethel Park, Clairton, Highlands, Albert Gallatin, Penn Hills, Kiski School, Central Catholic, Imani Christian, McKeesport, Westinghouse, First Love Christian and more.

Among the 18 out-of-town teams are Abington, Baltimore Polytechnic, Virginia Academy, Mount Zion Academy, Westtown School, and Georgetown Prep.

A number of Division I players will be on display, including Abington’s Eric Dixon (Villanova), Jalen Gaffney of Westtown (Connecticut), John Bol Ajak of Westtown (Syracuse) and Davin Zeigler of Benedictine (Bowling Green).

Latrobe plays Abington at 2 p.m. on Saturday.

Daily passes are $10 for adults and $5 for students.

Schedule:

Saturday

New gym: Woodland Hills vs. Plum (girls), 11 a.m.; Virginia Academy vs. Kiski School, 12:30 p.m.; Abington vs. Latrobe, 2 p.m.; Bethel Park vs. Severn School (Md.), 3:30; Chester vs. Gilman School, 5; Mt. Zion Academy (N.C.) vs. Baltimore Polytechnic, 6:30; Woodland Hills vs. Friends School (Md.), 8 Old gym: Imani Christian vs. Propel Montour, noon; Albert Gallatin vs. Propel Andrew Street, 1:30; Farrell vs. Clairton, 3; Central (N.J.) vs. Bishop McDevitt, 4:30; Westinghouse vs. South County (Va.), 6.

Sunday

New gym: Kiski School vs. Georgetown Prep (D.C.), 11 a.m.; Abington vs. Bullis School, 12:30 p.m.; Mt. Zion Academy (N.C.) vs. Virginia Academy, 2; Cesar Chavez (Washington D.C.)vs. Mckeesport, 3:30; Westtown vs. First Love Christian, 5; Chester vs. Penn Hills, 6:30; Woodland Hills vs. Central Catholic, 8.

Old gym: Gilman vs. Bishop McDevitt, noon; Albert Gallatin vs. Friends School (Md.), 1:30; Greater Johnstown vs. Highlands, 3; Clairton vs. Propel Braddock Hills, 4:30, Imani Christian vs. Westinghouse, 6.

Monday

New gym: Virginia Academy vs. Benedictine (Ohio), 11 a.m.; Kiski School vs. Mt. Zion Academy (N.C.), 12:30; Stow-Munroe Falls vs. Cesar Chavez (Washington D.C.), 2; Westtown vs. Baltimore Polytechnic, 3:30

Bill Beckner is a Tribune-Review staff writer. You can contact Bill at bbeckner@tribweb.com or via Twitter @BillBeckner.

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