NEW BRUNSWICK, NJ—The New Brunswick Celebrity Basketball Game will take place tonight, March 27, at 6:30 PM in the gymnasium at New Brunswick High School (1000 Somerset St.) for the second consecutive year.
The school's Honor Roll students will receive two tickets to the event, and anyone can attend this for just $7 general admission.
The Celebrity Team, consisting of former Rutgers athletes turned professionals, will square-off against the City All-Stars, a team comprised of New Brunswick’s public school teachers, firefighters, police officers, and Special Olympic Athletes, whom will each take to the court for one of the game's four quarters.
Nathaniel Harris, one of four academic coaches with the NBHS Play It Smart Program, a mentoring and community service program for student athletes that promotes responsibility and positive habits, expressed excitement about tonight’s game.
"We had it last year here in this building and had a great turnout and this year we are expecting about 1,500 people from the high school, middle school, the elementary schools… people from the community," he said.
"We even get a crowd that’s not affiliated with New Brunswick just because of some of the names that will be here."
Harris explained that in past years the event featured a different set of celebrities who were less known to the kids.
“The connection between the celebrities and the new Brunswick kids was not there. Now we have younger [celebrities] and the kids know the names when they hear them.”
Although Harris played football while studying at Rutgers himself, he credits the large network of contacts that former Rutgers football star, Antonio Lowery, brought on board.
Though he has been a Recreation Assistant at the New Brunswick HUB Teen Center since December 2011, Lowery will be playing for the Celebrity team tonight.
Lowery and New Brunswick's Recreation Director Mike Blackwell recruited many participants who are former Rutgers athletes that have gone on to play sports professionally.
Pat Brown, Devin McCourty, and Mohamed Sanu will return from last year’s Celebrity Team, joining fellow pro athletes Brandon Bing, Tim Brown, Jonathon Casillas, Waliyy Dixon, Courtney Greene, Brandon Jones, Jason McCourty, Jamaal Westerman, and Jeremy Zuttah.
Eric LeGrand, a Woodbridge resident and Rutgers football player who sufferred a career-ending injury in 2010 is also scheduled to be a part of the Celebrity team this evening.
Each of the celebrity athletes will be signing autographs before the game starts.