On June 8 and 9, a group of young area athletes took a trip to Hartford, Conn., and came home winners.
The Long Branch Shore Shockers AAU boys’ basketball team participated in the Starters Classic Tournament, beating the best the tournament had to offer by one point in overtime.
Players from Long Branch and Toms River had to play three games in one day before facing a team from Massachusetts in the finals.
Representing the Jersey Shore were Brian Stokes, Donnell Turpin, Louis Carretta, Paul Lewis, Kevin and Mitch Gilliard, Alex Decos, Aurlander Daniels, Fransico Gomez, Miguel Maldinado, Conrad Daley, Bobby Faiges, Parish Jones, Lavar Williams and Kenneth Anderson.
The trip was an excellent opportunity for the children, many of whom live in the city’s public housing, to gain exposure in a nationally recognized sport.
Sponsored in part by the Housing Authority, the program was created to provide a place for boys and girls to learn and play the sport.
"I think this is going to be a great organization," said John "J.J." Rogers, program director. "With the help of the community, as well as the Housing Authority, the program will become a great opportunity for the kids."
Helping to make the program a success are Roxanne Turpin, Stanley Clark and Kevin and Mitch Gilliard.
The Shore Shockers will be traveling to Baltimore to play in the Harbor Classic on July 6 and 8. If you would like to make donations or help sponsor the team, contact John Rogers at 73 Cedar Ave., Apt. 3, Long Branch, NJ 07740.