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Local basketball league hits the court for a cause

Ryan T. Lee SNBL Megabowl Night Results

2 Ball Champion: Tom Liberda/Marco Gianonne; 3 Point Champion: Tom Liberda; Rock N’ Jock MVP: Marco Gianonne

Slam Dunk Champion: Steve Faulkner


Tyler Catlin never had the opportunity to meet Ryan Lee. He heard many stories, and witnessed Lee’s athletic talent first hand, but never met Lee, who was fatally struck by a vehicle while away at college more than two years ago.

Through Berlin’s Sunday Night Basketball League –where Catlin serves as the commissioner – he continued to hear about Lee: about his ability to make people laugh, and his kind-hearted nature.

“All I hear is how funny of a kid he was and how well-liked this man was,” said Catlin. “It was obvious to me at that point that my league could do something good for the Lee Foundation. And my guys got behind the idea.”

Catlin hatched the idea for the Ryan Lee SNBL Megabowl Night, designed to pay homage to Lee and to raise money for the Ryan T. Lee Memorial Foundation. Catlin was far from alone in putting the event together, however. Former friends and teammates of Lee’s, including Max DeLorenzo, helped make the night a success.

“We knew about the (foundation’s) 3-on-3 basketball tournament later in August, which I’m not a part of because I’m away at training camp,” said DeLorenzo, who plays football for UConn. “But Tyler and I both talked because we wanted to do something for Ryan because he was a good friend of mine.”

Megabowl Night, held July 28 at McGee Middle School, coincided with the SNBL championship game. Aside from watching the finals, those in attendance were treated to a slam dunk contest, a 3-point shootout, a 2-ball competition, and a “Rock and Jock” All-Star game.

While Catlin and DeLorenzo spearheaded Megabowl Night, they had plenty of assistance from Ray Pons, who deejayed the event, and comedian Rob Santos, the host for the evening.

Christina Gorneault, scorekeeper for the SNBL, was recognized by the league that night for her dedication.

“We had a great turnout,” DeLorenzo said. “All of the bleachers were filled at McGee Middle School. Ryan’s parents were there and really enjoyed it. His mom said it was a pleasure to see all the guys Ryan played with in high school, and for all of us to focus on him on that night. She loved it.”

The event proved to be a success, as friends were able to recount fun times they shared with Lee, who played basketball and golf at Berlin High. Lee continued his career on the links at Long Island University.

Megabowl Night raised $1,200, which will be presented to the foundation during the Aug. 16 Ryan T. Lee Golf Classic.

For more information, or to donate to the Ryan T. Lee Memorial Foundation, visit www.ryantleefoundation.org.



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