Cape and Islands All-Star Basketball Game organizer Al Faria has canceled the 2020 game, which was scheduled to be held at the Hyannis Youth and Community Center on Sunday, March 15, amid growing concerns surrounding the COVID-19 pandemic.
With sports organizations throughout North America pulling the plug on their games for the foreseeable future, Faria felt it was prudent to follow suit and call off the annual boys’ and girls’ games.
“It breaks my heart to do it, it really does,” Faria said. “No one is more disappointed than I am.”
Faria said that he was not ordered to shut down the event, but saw the writing on the wall that there was a good chance that the decision would be made for him with the Town of Barnstable closing down many activities throughout the town for the weekend. Rather than get caught by surprise, he said it made more sense to be proactive.
“I didn’t want to keep people in limbo, wondering if we’d have it or not,” he said. “You’ve got people traveling to get there, some coming over from the islands, it just made sense to get it out there and get the word out.”
Faria has been organizing all-star games between the Cape’s best high school players dating back to 1987. His devotion to the annual event is impressive. He chooses teams, with input from coaches, hands out awards and announces the pre- and post-game festivities.
He said that he prays that life returns to normal quickly and that the games will be back on the schedule for “a bigger and better time” in March of 2021.
“I’m hoping that at this time next year, God willing, that everything is okay and that we pick up the pieces and can go from there,” he said.
Several players from the Upper Cape area had been selected to play in this year’s games. They included Ryan Hendricks, Kendall Rose, Ashley Keleher and Amiyah Peters from Mashpee High; Kayla Thomas, Ariana Silvia, Lily Craft, Gerald Mahoney and Charlie Dowick from Falmouth High; Rob Ciaffoni and Leah Croom from Falmouth Academy; Steve Barmashi, Cam Dunbury, Nora Barmashi and Kaya Fernandes of Bourne; Sean Lansing, Chris Cronin, JP Downes, Sierra Brigham and Lauren Condon of Sandwich; Des Nascimento and Lacy Butland, of Upper Cape Tech; Skylar Gonsalves of Pope John Paul II; Jaeden Greenleaf of Cape Cod Academy, and Ava Dowick of Sturgis East.