AHEPA Bone Marrow Basketball Tournament Begins on March 8

The 9th Annual AHEPA Marrow Basketball Tournament raises awareness for the cause. Photo: Public domain- (U.S. Air Force photo/Airman 1st Class Kerelin Molina)

CHICAGO – The 9th Annual AHEPA Marrow National Invitational Basketball Tournament takes place on March 8-12 at Chicago venues, including the Northeastern Illinois University Athletic Facility, North Park University Gymnasium, and Northside College Preparatory High School.

The 28 teams will compete in 7 groups in the tournament that promotes the AHEPA Marrow Program, education, raises awareness of the marrow transplant process, recruits eligible donors, and serves as a national fundraising event.

This large, national, competitive, multi-ethnic, pan-Orthodox tournament concludes with the Ahepa Marrow Award Ceremony immediately following the play of the Men’s Gold Division Championship game on Sunday, March 12.

Individual awards will also be distributed for categories including Most Valuable Player for each Group in Group Play, Gold and Silver All-Tournament Team, and the Most Valuable Player Gold and Silver Divisions, and the Steve Pappas Award will be given to the coach selected for his or her ability during the tournament to exemplify the characteristics of great coaching (i.e. leadership, motivation, strategy, decision making, substitution decisions, team preparation, and ultimately getting the most out of his or her team).

The top official of the tournament will also be selected and awarded the Referee Award of Excellence during the award ceremony immediately after the Gold Division Championship Men’s Game. The complete tournament rules and information are available online at www.ahepamarrow.org/files/2017/2017TeamPacket.pdf.

This year the AHEPA Bone Marrow drives are for Nick Dombalis, a 66-year-old husband and father of four. Nick was diagnosed with Myelodysplastic Syndrome at age 64. Since his diagnosis, he has undergone chemotherapy, but a bone marrow transplant is his only chance for a cure. AHEPA Marrow is hosting drives at North Park University on Saturday, March 11 and Sunday, March 12.

More information on the Basketball Tournament is available online at www.ahepamarrow.org/tournament/. Information on AHEPA Marrow Donor Registry is also available online at www.ahepamarrow.org.