All-star hoops games at Nicolet all set
Tilts to feature City and NSC players later this month
Glendale - Glendale resident Tommie Williams knows a little bit about basketball.
After all, he played high school ball in the mid-1960s with all-time Wisconsin greats like Fred Brown, Clarence Sherrod and Ellis Turrentine on legendary championship Milwaukee Lincoln teams that are considered among the very best in state prep history.
He is also the father of former Nicolet great Christian Griggs-Williams and the grandfather of Dominican star Duane Wilson, who just helped lead the Knights to a Division 4 state championship.
So that's why as President of Heritage Days, Inc. (the new name for the former Afro-Fest, one of the many summer festivals held in Milwaukee), Williams is putting together a North Shore Conference/Milwaukee City Conference boys and girls all-star game April 21 at Nicolet.
"I noticed that there were no other all-star games like this in the area," Williams said. "So we thought it would be a great idea to showcase the kids' talent."
The event will also be a fundraiser for the new Heritage Days festival, held Sept. 1 to 2 at Washington Park.
But just to put on the event, Williams had to jump through a lot of hoops, as he worked with Nicolet Athletic Director Kirk Krychowiak for use of the facilities and the Milwaukee Public Schools Recreation Department for clearances for the City Conference players.
"Kirk was great," Williams said. "We got to use the facilities for next to nothing and we're also allowed to raise money through the selling of concessions."
Next, he had to go through the WIAA to get clearance so athletes wouldn't be endangering their eligibility. He spoke to Deputy Director Wade Labecki.
"We couldn't use the kids' coaches or their uniforms, but we're anticipating that things will fall into place," Williams said.
Williams is now making the rounds of the various schools trying to engage the participation of as many players as possible.
"Milwaukee is really excited about this," he said, "and now I'm trying to get things rolling in the North Shore. We had to wait until the state playoffs were over before we could approach them."
If it works out well, Williams said there might be expansion next year to try and engage the Southeast and Classic 8 Conferences.
The girls game will be at 5 p.m. and the boys at 7:30 p.m. Heritage Days will provide security for the event. Williams said there has already been a great turnout of volunteer coaches, ticket takers and for the running of concessions.
"They all want to get involved in something positive," he said.
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