Summer Slam Youth Basketball Tournament

Dozens of student-athletes from a total of four towns will head to Elizabeth this evening to participate in the second annual Union County Prosecutor’s Office Summer Slam Youth Basketball Tournament.

The tournament’s four teams will be coached by law enforcement officers, according to the heads of the participating departments: Elizabeth Police Chief John Brennan and Police Director Earl Graves, Linden Police Chief David Hart, New Providence Police Chief Anthony Buccelli, and Rahway Police Chief John Rodger.

Student-athletes’ uniforms for the evening feature numbered and logoed shirts bearing the team colors of the high schools in their respective municipalities.

A scene from last year’s Summer Slam Youth Basketball Tournament

A contingent of Prosecutor’s Office volunteers chips in by running the game clocks, managing logistics, and even drying the floors during play stoppages, said acting Union County Prosecutor Lyndsay V. Ruotolo.

The event marks the continuation of an initiative re-launched last year as a way to connect youths from across the county with representatives of law enforcement in fun, engaging ways during the summer months.

The concept was originally introduced in the 1990s by late Union County Prosecutor Andrew K. Ruotolo, the father of the acting prosecutor.

The tournament is scheduled to begin at 6 p.m. Friday August 9, with the teams facing off in a pair of first-round games, followed by a championship contest and a third-place contest, also to be played simultaneously.

The tournament is open to the public and free to attend.

The Elizabeth public schools facilities are again being made available for the tournament by and Superintendent Olga Hugelmeyer, with student-athletes afforded the opportunity to play in one of the state’s marquee high-school basketball venues.

The four teams participated in a practice session there earlier this week.

The Prosecutor’s Office PBA Local No. 250 contributed both financing and manpower to the production of this event.

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