Virus Outbreak Big East College Basketball

Big East Conference Commissioner Val Ackerman speaks to reporters after the remaining NCAA college basketball games in the men's Big East Conference tournament were were cancelled due to concerns about the coronavirus, Thursday, March 12, 2020, at Madison Square Garden in New York.(AP Photo/Mary Altaffer)

The Mercer County Basketball Hall of Fame was planning to induct its third class in September, however, due to circumstances surrounding the COVID-19 pandemic the event has been rescheduled for April 18, 2021 at Mercer Oaks Country Club.

The committee certainly appreciates everyone’s understanding and they are looking forward to April when Val Ackerman, Bob Pugh, Sean Casey, Michelle Campbell, Mykeema Ford, Jim Davis, John Castaldo, Deon Hames and Bryan Caver will be inducted.

Also, at that time, the George O’Gorman Scholarship will be awarded to a female high school player and the Jim Davis Scholarship will be presented to a male high school player that most exemplifies the dedication and traits of both O’Gorman and Davis.

“The committee decided that it is best to move our Hall Of Fame dinner to April 2021 so that we can honor our terrific class of inductees properly,’’ said Linda Wiese, Vice-Chair of the committee. “We look forward to celebrating this third class next April.’’

Contributions are still being received for the O’Gorman and Davis Scholarships and information related to those can be found at www.mercercountybasketballhof.com and all contributions are tax deductible.

This year’s class this is one of great talent and commitment and will join past inductee’s Fr. Clarence O’Shea, Emil Wandishin, Harold Driver, Dahntay Jones, Nick Werkman, Greg Grant, Vicky Picott, Kate Larkin, Hollis Copeland, Tal Brody, Norm VanArsdalen, George O’Gorman, George Lee, Dale Hodges, Tonya Grant, Fred Dumont, Mark Bass, Shelly Dearden, David ‘Poppy’ Sanderson and Jack Adams.

The third class to be inducted in April features, players, coaches, contributors and officials that excelled on and off the court.

Ackerman, the Commissioner of the Big East, was a standout player at Hopewell Valley the University of Virginia and prior to the Big East she was a first President of the WNBA.

Ford was a great player at Trenton High and then at Stony Brook where she led the Seawolves in scoring all four years. She is second All-Time in career points and second in assists.

Casey and Castaldo were a pair of state championship coaches, Pugh after an accomplished career at the high school and college level is still involved in officiating as an assessor and as an assignor.

The late Jim Davis chronicled many a high school player during his time as a writer at The Trentonian. Davis loved the game and his stories had a way of bringing the passion and the intensity to the back page.

Campbell was an All-State player at Notre Dame and then went on to have a great career at Rutgers, where she was the Big East’s Most Improved Player and an All-Big East selection.

Hames was a great player at Hun gaining All-State recognition and he continued excellence at Rider scoring 1,589 points, which is ninth on the all-time list and he is still the all-time assist leader for the Broncs with 598.

Seton Hall has been the scene of many “Trenton Makes the World Takes” moments from Werkman to Myles Powell, and in between was a pretty good one in Caver.

After a state championship career at McCorristin (now Trenton Catholic Academy) he was a key part of some very good Seton Hall teams. Caver is among the All-Time assists and steals leaders at Seton Hall.

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