Gateway's Richardson, Taylor set for annual Hoops For A Cure all-star game
A basketball all-star and fundraising tradition continues Saturday as the 18th annual Hoops For A Cure event will be at Chartiers Valley High School.
There will be three all-star games as part of the day's activities starting at 4:30 p.m. The girls game will kick everything off, and Gateway seniors Chelsea Richardson and Maria Taylor will play on the Quad-A/Class AAA team against a group of stars from A and AA.
“It's a great way to end my senior year,” Taylor said. “Chelsea and I started playing together with AAU in sixth grade, and it's fitting we will end our high school careers together as well.”
Gateway head coach Cornelius Nesbit will serve as the head coach of the big-school squad.
“It's a great feeling to be able to coach both of them one more time,” Nesbit said. “After the (team) banquet, as a coach, I figured it was the last time I would get to spend with them for their senior seasons, and then I get the call about coaching in the game and having both of them on the team.”
A WPIAL boys all-star game also will be on Saturday, followed by a game between teachers and coaches from Chartiers Valley and South Fayette school districts.
“It's great to be able to watch those two and remember how they entered the program and how they are leaving it in such good shape,” Nesbit said.
“They have matured so much, not just as basketball players, but as individuals overall. They provided so much leadership for this team. They will be highly successful in athletics and academics at the next level. I expect great things for them, and we talk about that all the time.”
In addition to coaching Taylor and Richardson one more time, Nesbit will coach a team that includes Maryland recruit and Hopewell senior Shatori Walker-Kimbrough, Upper St. Clair's Jordan Serio, Chartiers Valley's Kassidy O'Keefe, Bethel Park's Mariah Penascino and Oakland Catholic's Nicole Johnson.
Gateway faced Upper St. Clair during the regular season and Chartiers Valley, Bethel Park and Oakland Catholic during the playoffs.
“It will be fun to coach some really good basketball players in this area that we faced during the regular season and the playoffs,” Nesbit said.
The Gators won their third straight section title in the 2012-13 season and made it to the WPIAL semifinals and PIAA second round.
“Maria and Chelsea put in all the hard work, and (the all-star game) is just another great opportunity for them before they go off to college and start the next part of their lives,” Nesbit said.
Gateway graduate Anna Coutsoumbis played in the Hoops For A Cure girls game last year and earned Most Valuable Player honors.
Proceeds from the games benefit the Nathan S. Arenson Fund For Pancreatic Cancer Research.
The cause is very close to the hearts and minds in the Gateway girls basketball family. The mother of assistant coach Dana Stewart died of pancreatic cancer, and the program helped raise money for research during the season.
Tickets for the all-star tripleheader are $5 for adults and $3 for students.
Youth under age six will be admitted free.
For more on the event, visit www.hoopsforacure.com.
Michael Love is a staff writer with Trib Total Media. He can be reached at 412-388-5825 or at firstname.lastname@example.org.