www.mybaycity.com March 6, 2010
Sports Article 4704

Legends Basketball Game Set For March 20 at St Joe's Gym

JJKN Hoops to Host Top Players from Past 4 Decades

March 6, 2010
By: MyBayCity Staff

JJKN Hoops Director -- TJ Newsham


The JJKN Hoops All Star Legends game voting is complete and the game is set for Saturday March 20, 2010 at 2:00 p.m. The game will be held at St.Joe's gym behind St. Joe's church on 3rd street.

The doors open at 1:00 and tip-off is set for 2:00 p.m. The game will feature the top 12 players from the from the 70's, 80's, 90's, and 2000's.

The 1970/2000 team will take on the 1980/1990 team.

Players from all 6 Bay County High Schools will be represented at the game. Tickets are $5.00 and can be purchased at the door.

For more information and to see team rosters . . . please go to: www.JJKNHOOPS.COM

After 28 days of voting, 3,558 people went online to help decide the Bay County Boy's Basketball All-Decade Teams sponsored by JJKN Hoops. Voting for the teams ended February 28th.

JJKN Hoops Director of Operations Jason Newsham was excited with the turnout and is looking forward to bringing as many of these winners together on March 20th for the 'Legends' game.

"I think the excitement behind the voting and the buzz created around the town at city league games was worth putting this event together. Many folks emailed me thoughts and others called us and mentioned how much they enjoyed just looking at the names of the players nominated. Unfortunately not everyone wins but by bringing in the fan voting, it made a community event and not a behind the scenes or closed door process," commented Newsham.

The 1970's nomination was the toughest. Basketball is this decade was so good across the city that it is almost unfair that we had to trim the roster down. The teams staged war in front of sold out venues, unlike what we see today. That was normal. The 1970's roster is dominated by members of All Saints, a school that produced two state championship teams during that decade. Members include Mike Gwizdala, Bill Harris, John Pike, Jeff Szczepanski, Mark Talaga, Greg Vogel and Mark Wenglikowski. Doug Anderson (Central), Greg Coburn (Garber), Jim Davidson (Handy), Whitey Hintz (Western), Joe Pergande (Garber) and Steve Szczepanski (West Catholic) round out the roster.

The 1980's emerged with a well rounded county class. While the All Saints county and state wide domination diminished, Garber put together a string of successful seasons that produced Rich Failing and Rob Skinner. Pinconning produced two 1980's players in Tim Floyd and Joe Wilson. The leading scorer in John Glenn history Steve Vlk enters the roster as the lone Bobcat representative. The Cougars landed three spots with Jim Huiskens, Denny Szczepanski and Tim Walker. The Western Warriors placed Matt Mieske and Karl Verity on the roster. Two players that created buzz back in the 1980's were Handy graduates, Dan Snover and AJ Still. Snover, the diminutive all-around player is still the favorite player of all-time for area kids. Still was an exceptional long distance shooter and was a member of the Handy team which finished 17-4 and enjoyed state-wide rankings for a brief time.

The 1990 squad will be remembered as the decade of the shooters. The list includes some of the county's finest mid range and long range snipers. Several of the players enjoyed college careers after they left high school but many made their impact while here in Bay County. Leading the way were Central grads Devon Gilliam, Steve Groya, Heath Kent, Brian Kostus, Richie Miller and Eric Spielhaupter.

The Wolves made up half of the 1990 Decade roster. John Glenn grads JR Clobes, Rich Garcia and Brian Sheridan contribute to the team. The Cougars of All Saints have two representatives Brad Guoan and Kyle Zielinski while one of the more decorated players of all time, Mark Wittbrodt from Western round out the decade. Wittbrodt held the record for consecutive free throws made while thriving as the main shooting threat in Coach Bill Tithof's run-n-gun philosophy.

The 2000 squad features another of the area's most decorated players, Eric Devendorf. Devendorf serves as the lone Central rep on a team that features a well rounded roster of point guards, scorers and post. Bay City Western places shooter Ryan Anderson (joining father Doug (1970) as the only father-son duo on the teams), Corey Arnold, Chris Krueger and Matt Rudrow.

Pinconning had success with players Jon Foco and Willie Pickvet. All Saints returned to area prominence by going to the state quarter-finals three times with players Ryan Janer, Nick Simpson and Greg Szczepanski. Garber has two players, Brett Eichhorn and Jon Matthews while Scott Miller from John Glenn round out the top players.

Although the arguments could be raised of player omission from the teams, no one can argue the success of the players voted in. I would like to thank the coaches and sports writers who helped contribute to the nomination process, Bay 3TV for the 1/2 hour special about our event, the family, friends, co-workers who took time out to vote (some more than others!) and a special thanks to Lee Thompson for continued support of the event. We look forward to seeing everyone on March 20th, where the Madness concludes!

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