Lynn uses basketball to “Protect our Streets”

Jeffery Hill drives to the basket during Wednesday's game at the Marshall gym. (Item Photo by Owen O'Rourke)

LYNN — Local basketball stars, both current and former, showcased their hoops talents Wednesday at Marshall Middle School in promoting community awareness and positivity.

“It’s an avenue for us to get these kids off the streets for a night,” event presenter, Fred Hogan said during the Protect Our Streets Community Awareness Basketball Showcase. “We just want to bring them another night of positivity.”

Hogan’s a former girls basketball coach at Lynn English and has run several local basketball tournaments throughout the years.

“I’ve been doing basketball my whole life,” Hogan said. “It’s a great way to bring the community together.”

Also helping run the event was Simmie Anderson, a former player and current assistant boys basketball coach at Classical.

The second annual event featured the theme “Protect our Streets” and included a slate of five games throughout the night; seventh and eighth grade, ninth grade, a women’s division, high school boys and a men’s division. Each game was divided into East Lynn and West Lynn teams that battled it out at the Marshall gym.

“I just look at it as, if both sides of the city can come together to play tonight, whatever is going on in the streets, this shows how we can all come together,” Anderson said.

“We have a great core of kids, we’re just trying to put the community together here tonight.”

Lynn School Committee member John Ford has supported Anderson and Hogan throughout their mission and says he is proud to see what they are doing has a growing impact.

“Fred and Simmie have been great,” Ford said. “It just keeps getting bigger and bigger, we try to do anything we can.”

Ford watched his grandson, Jason Donohue, play in a competitive seventh and eighth grade game that was ultimately decided by a three-point margin.

“There’s a lot of basketball talent in Lynn,” Ford said.

Current Lynn high school players that participated included Jalen Johnson, Jalen Echevarria, Dyrell Rucker, Erick and Edwin Solis, Alonzo Linton, Ademide Badmus, Abraham Diaz, Marvens Rosirus, Javonte Edwards, Javaris Hill, Treavuon Baldwin, Robert Wallace, Jeffrey Barboza and Josh Perez.

Alumni returning for the men’s game were current Classical head coach Jasper Grassa, Alvin Abreu, Jarell Byrd, current English head coach Antonio Anderson, Keandre Stanton, Paul Beckons, Travonne Berry-Rogers, Quincy Imadiyi, Tony Gallo, Marcus Echevarria, Corey Bingham, Kyle Doucette, Dorien Brown, Peter Mafo, Victor Smith and Freddy Hogan Jr.

Anderson and Hogan were especially excited about adding a women’s division game into this year’s showcase.

“I felt like people sometimes can leave them out a bit,” Anderson said. “So we knew that if we’re having boys games we’re having women too, can’t leave them out.”

For Hogan, several of the athletes in the women’s division were former players he had coached at Lynn English. That includes Lashaunda Hogan, Diondra Woumn and Deidra Newson from the Bulldogs team that won the Division 1 North championship four years ago, also joined by Jennie Duggins, Jeanette Anderson, Renay Hamilton, Kirsten Ferrari, Kayla Murkison, Taneka Brown, Ebony White, Christina McKenzie, Ashlynn Babb, Cheneysse Hill and Jessica French.

“I had almost six alumni coming, it was fun,” Hogan said. “I looked forward to catching up with some of them and taking a picture.”

Winners of each game were rewarded with medals and an MVP was chosen from each winning team to be presented with a massive trophy.

“We try to make it feel great for them,” Hogan said. “The kids love it.”

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