CLARION, Pa. – The 20th annual Clarion County YMCA Sportsmanship 1 District 9 All-Star basketball games will take place Saturday, March 28, at Keystone High School.
(Photo by Jared Bakaysa of JB Graphics. See more of Bakaysa’s work here)
The games – one boys and one girls – bring together 40 of the best senior basketball players in District 9 for a season-ending event that also includes a 32 (skills) contest. The game is co-sponsored by D9Sports.com.
“We are pleased to be able to present this wonderful event again this year,” Jesse Kelley, Director of the Clarion County YMCA said. “Over the years, over 700 players, 130 coaches and 100 officials have helped make this one of the premier all-star events in Western Pennsylvania.”
The Sportsmanship 1 All-Star basketball games were conceived and initiated in 2000 by Norbert Baschnagel, a former Clarion University full professor in the Health and Physical Education Department who also coached both men’s basketball (assistant coach) and women’s tennis (head coach) at various times during his time at Clarion University. The game has been played every year since then except for 2007.
Under Bashnagel’s direction, the objectives of the games have been to recognize the outstanding seniors in the boys’ and girls’ Western Pennsylvania leagues and have them play one last game, raise money for the Clarion County YMCA, and present the Western Pennsylvania Sportsmanship 1 Sportsperson of the year award to the person who emphasizes the true meaning of sportsmanship in our society.
“We call these games Sportsmanship 1 because we want to emphasize sportsmanship first,” Baschnagel said. “Sportsmanship is a key element to a successful life and should be strived for in everything that you do.”
Over the years, the game has featured many different matchups including the KSAC vs. Western Pennsylvania, a Western Pennsylvania-themed matchup broken into two teams, and a North vs. South game involving players from District 9 and surrounding Districts.
This is the ninth year that D9Sports.com has been involved with the game, and since the website, the premier high school sports website in Pennsylvania, came on board in 2012 each game has featured two teams made up of the best seniors from District 9.
“We are pleased to be able to partner with the Clarion County YMCA once again this year to present these games,” D9Sports.com editor and minority owner Chris Rossetti said. “These games are a great way to recognize the best senior basketball players in District 9 and give those players on last time to shine under the bright lights while still in high school.”
The 2020 girls’ game is slated to start at 1 p.m. to be followed by the boys’ game at 3 p.m.
More information, including coaches and teams for the games, will be announced in late February/early March.