Tuning In for the Tip-Off at Koehler All-Star Game

Students could get a court-side view at Koehler Fieldhouse for this All-Star Game. (Photo credit via Aliyah Williams)

Aliyah Williams

Managing Editor

The Mattioli Recreation Center hosted an All-Star game in Koehler Fieldhouse as a way to conclude the 2023 recreational basketball season at 7 p.m. on March 28. The event consisted of two major skills events, a three-point contest and a dunk contest, as well as an All-Star game.

The three-point contest headed off the event, with a total of nine contestants. Each participant was given a two-minute timeframe to complete 25 shots each. There was also a “moneyball” rack at a player-designated spot, with each of those made shots totaling two points each instead of one.

Shane Kennedy came in first place, making a total of 18 shots, while Joe Benson seconded him, scoring 13.

Following the three-point contest, the dunk contest took place. Seven competitors took on the challenge, each performing three dunks before only two moved into the championship round. The contest was judged by a committee consisting of Gerard Morgan, the Director of Campus Rec and Wellness, Joe Akob, the Executive Director of the Student Activities Association,  Carlos Peppin, a men’s basketball player, Stephen Lynam, the Assistant Director of Sports Activities and two of the men’s basketball coaches. Dunks were judged on a scale from zero to 50 according to factors such as landing, impact on the rim, entertainment, difficulty, and attempts.

Elijah Thomas made the first dunk, earning a score of 34.46 for his first performance. His subsequent competitors also performed well during the event.

Thomas and Ivan Hicks were the finalists in the contest. Hicks came out as the winner, scoring 43 on his final dunk, and Thomas came in second place, following closely behind with a score of 40.

After the conclusion of the skill events, an All-Star game took place between Team Francois and Team Santana. Each team consisted of 12 players who were selected from their recreational teams through voting.

Team Francois was led by Donald Francois, who was also a participant in the three-point and dunk contest. Team Santana was led by Ryan Santana. The game started off competitively, with Team Francois taking an early 11-0 lead within the first few minutes.

The second quarter was a test of both teams’ skills as they competed head-to-head, although Team Francois consistently maintained their lead. Team Santana’s lineup put pressure on their opponents, gaining on their once significant lead.

Upon the start of the third quarter, Team Francois led 45-35. Team Santana came out strong, catching up quickly to the other team and cutting the lead to two in only four minutes. They took their first lead of the game with around four minutes left in the third quarter, and went into the fourth with a one-point lead.

Team Santana dominated scoring during the fourth quarter, keeping a steady lead. After a head-to-head battle, the fourth quarter ended in a 69-69 tie, resulting in a five-minute overtime period.

Team Francois ended up leaving victorious with an 84-80 win.

The recreational league came to a conclusion during the accumulation of the skills events and All-Star game.

Email Aliyah at: