Patrick’s PALS 28th Annual Basketball Tournament for FRAXA Breaks Record

BBall Action 3

Patrick’s PALS 28th Annual 3-on-3 Basketball Tournament took place on Saturday June 1, 2024. Held for the first time at the TRACK at New Balance in Brighton, MA, participants, family, friends, invited guests, volunteers and onlookers were all treated to a first-class facility for our event. The annual 3-on-3 basketball tournament serves two purposes. First, it aims to raise awareness about Fragile X syndrome. Second, it raises funds to support FRAXA's mission of finding effective treatments and ultimately a cure.

A Spectacular Day

36 teams signed up to play in the double-elimination tournament. Six half-courts were in use for the early rounds, establishing teams who would become the early favorites for the title. Prior to the basketball getting under way, Dunkin’ Donuts breakfast was offered courtesy of the Pesce Network, followed by opening ceremonies.

Don MacGuillicuddy was recognized as the 2024 PAL of the Year. Don was tragically felled by a heart attack while doing the thing he loved – officiating a Massachusetts High School basketball game on the night of March 1, 2024. Don’s son Wayne, daughter Erica and fiancée Nancy were in attendance to accept the honor.

Brothers Jesse & Jeremy Sarzana were named the recipients of the 2024 David Whitney Unsung PAL Award. Both have served as wonderful ambassadors of the event over the years and have contributed in multiple ways to the success of the tournament, always without fanfare.

The Boston Red Sox Alumni Association was responsible for bringing Orlando Cabrera to the tournament. Orlando was a key member of the 2004 Red Sox -- only the team that broke the dreaded curse of no World Series prior to 1918. He’s a wonderful guy and added to the morning festivities!

Ben Volin is senior NFL writer for the Boston Globe and has covered the NFL since 2007. Ben has covered practically every significant storyline regarding the Patriots in the past decade-plus, and he graciously visited PALS to talk football throughout the morning with those in attendance.

This year Todd Angilly graced Patrick’s PALS! Todd has been the official singer of the national anthem for the Boston Bruins since 2019. With a magnificent voice, he offers a powerful rendition of the anthem for 40 Bruins home games every year -- and on June 1 he delivered an equally powerful rendition for Patrick’s PALS!

A silent auction, a staple of PALS, offered close to 40 items to bid on, and when all was said and done it raised over $10,000. A 3-point contest raised $800 ($400 to FRAXA and $400 to the champ, who was the final shooter of the day and had to make his final shot to take home the crown!

A delicious lunch was served courtesy of D’Agostino’s Deli and sponsored by the Pressman Family in honor of their late mother, Nancy Comenitz, a longtime supporter of PALS who sadly was not with us at the tournament for the first time. Dylan & Pete’s Ice Cream wheeled in their portable cart and offered up a variety of cold goodies.

After all that, basketball continued till the finals pitted teams who knew one another and had both been part of championship teams at previous PALS tournaments. In the end it was the team of Geoff Gray, Jarred Houston and Guillen Smith who came away victorious, beating Michael Kline, Jeffrey McNair and Seth Hauben.

Patrick’s PALS 28 is proud to have raised over $170,000 through a mail campaign, major gifts, tournament fundraising and corporate sponsorships. The Patrick’s PALS Board – James & Pamela Vershbow, Jon Pressman, Bill Rome, Steve Savarese, Jim Marks, Scott Katz, Andrew Pressman, Peter Savarese, Daniel Marks and Steven Rome – offers THANKS to everyone who has contributed to the success of the 2024 campaign.

Patrick’s PALS will return again in 2025 on the first Saturday after Memorial Day (May 31) for the 29th edition of the Annual 3-on-3 Basketball Tournament!

Red Sox Alum Orlando Cabrera
Ben Volin, Boston Globe, with James Vershbow

Written by

James and Pamela began raising awareness and funds for FRAXA Research Foundation very early on in their “Fragile X experience.” Their son Patrick was diagnosed in 1993 at 11 months of age. Since becoming aware of FRAXA in 1995, fundraising has been a non-stop effort. First, it was huge yard sales, then banquets and auctions. Since 1997, Patrick’s PALS 3-on-3 Basketball Tournament occurs annually on the first Saturday after Memorial Day. They are proud to have raised well over 1.5 million dollars!

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