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Thursday, February 22

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Basketball Sun May 01 2011

Chicago United Hoops Classic: West Side All-Stars Dominate South Siders


Frank Kaminsky and Farragut's DJ Tolliver shined brightest among a cast of all-stars at the inaugural Chicago United Hoops Classic at DePaul's Sullivan Athletic Center. Kaminsky, the 6-11 Benet Academy product --and University of Wisconsin-bound center-- led an at times dominating display as the West Side all-stars took down South Siders by a not as close as it appears margin of 114-102. The final score mattered little to the high schoolers on the hardwood though, as the game served more as a showcase for the best and brightest of Chicago's youth basketballers and was a fundraiser for the Norm Van Lier Scholarship Fund.

Bulls fans for the better part of the past 40 years will recall Van Lier as the defense-minded guard or pre and post-game Bulls analyst for local television until his passing in 2009. Van Lier's widow helped to establish the Norm Van Lier Foundation and the Chicago United Hoops Classic serves as a fundraiser for this foundation and the Purpose Over Pain foundation. Amongst the "glitterati" of a high school basketball event one would not expect to see Jarret Payton, current Bear Kahlil Bell, former Bear Jerry Azumah or even, gasp!, Kyle Korver of the Chicago Bulls (and Converse spokesman!) Speaking of the makers of Chuck Taylors, Converse was a title sponsor for the event and had Monsiuer Payton (along with Kahlil Bell and Willie Taylor, a recording artist of some renown) duke it out in a friendly match with some of Chicago's Open Gym students during the halftime.

All in all, the inaugural Chicago United Hoops Classic was a great event for a great cause (cliche!) and treated the spectators to a high-scoring affair on the decks of DePaul's Sullivan Center.

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