Carino all-star hoops game is bittersweet for some South Jersey players

Haddon Township's Eric DiCrescenzo has chosen to go the football route.

Almost every athlete who takes the court for the Albert J. Carino Basketball Club of South Jersey's 40th annual all-star basketball game Sunday at Rutgers Camden is hoping to play the sport in college.

Haddon Township's Eric DiCrescenzo is an exception.

DiCrescenzo plans to play football at Stony Brook, joining the program as a preferred walk-on as a long snapper.

Sunday's fast-paced clash will be DiCrescenzo's final basketball game outside of pick-up action and perhaps an adult league after college.

Same goes for Cherokee's Steve Gervasi and Washington Township's Rich Racobaldo, who plan to play football and baseball, respectively, in college.

"It's bittersweet," DiCrescenzo said. "But the cool thing is, my last game is an all-star game."

The 40th annual all-star game will feature many of South Jersey's top senior players.

The game is scheduled to tip around 3 p.m., following the annual Tim Lenahan Memorial 8th Grade all-star game, which starts at 1.

Cherokee's Eric Cassidy will coach the West team in the high school game, and St. Augustine's Paul Rodio will coach the East team.

The game will feature some of South Jersey's top scorers from this past season including Bordentown's Manny Ansong (average of 24.4 points per game), Maple Shade's Hafeez Melvion (24.0), Ocean City's Luciano Lubrano (21.2) and Triton's Mike Wright (20.0) on the East squad and Medford Tech's Aziz Parker (22.4), Woodbury's Ja'Zere Noel (22.0) and Haddon Heights' Robert Tindley (19.5) on the West side.

The 6-foot-2 DiCrescenzo averaged 13.0 points for a Haddon Township team that finished 15-9 and qualified for the South Jersey Group 1 playoffs.

DiCrescenzo, who scored his 1,000th career point this season, said Sunday's game is special for another reason besides being his last as a high school player.

DiCrescenzo said he has played AAU basketball for the last six years on the South Jersey Jazz club with athletes such as Noel and St. Augustine's Austin Kennedy.

"This is the first time that Austin and I will be on the court together in high school," DiCrescenzo said. "That adds something to the game for me."