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Third-Annual Gerry Reilly Memorial Hoop-a-Thon
In 2009, Morristown resident Gerry Reilly was tragically killed in a ski accident, leaving behind a wife, four children, and many friends in the community. In Gerry’s memory, the third annual Gerry Reilly Memorial Hoop-A-Thon will take place on Sunday, March 18, from 12:30 p.m. to 7:30 p.m. at Morristown-Beard School in Morris Township. The free event, which is open to the public, will benefit Special Olympics of New Jersey—an organization dear to the Reilly family as their oldest child, Jack, participates in the Special Olympics basketball program.
The Hoop-A-Thon is a day-long Maroon vs. White coed basketball game featuring fourth through eighth grade boys and girls from the Morristown Junior Colonials Travel Basketball program. Each grade level will play for a scheduled period of time during the day and all participants have been encouraged to solicit donations from sponsors for the fundraiser.
A highlight of this year’s Hoop-A-Thon will occur from 5:00 to 5:30 p.m. when Hoop Wizard Jack “Black Jack” Ryan is slated to entertain the crowd with his comedy basketball routine. Black Jack, whose awe-inspiring tricks have been spotlighted on The Today Show and ESPN SportsCenter, and who counts NBA players and celebrities such as Justin Timberlake among his fans, is considered one of the best shooters in basketball history. His hilarious interactive performances have been enjoyed by people of all ages in packed arenas worldwide.
Prior to Black Jack’s show, Morristown’s own Jack Reilly and his Special Olympics teammates will hit the court at 4:00 p.m. to take on the Morristown Junior Colonials coaches. All are welcome to help cheer on the incredible Special Olympics athletes.
At the time of his death, Gerry Reilly was a coach of his daughter Brenna’s fourth grade Junior Colonials basketball team. Brenna now plays on a seventh grade team and her sister, Tessa, is a member of a fourth grade team. Gerry’s only son, 18-year-old Jack, has Cerebral Palsy and Epilepsy and spends much of his time on the basketball court. When he’s not playing in his own Special Olympics games, he is Morristown basketball’s biggest fan and a regular spectator at many of the league games.
Since its inception in 2009, the Gerry Reilly Memorial Hoop-A-Thon has raised over $20,000.