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Wally Bowe / Salesian In-House Basketball Tournament  

by Stephen Fielding

The games begin each and every Wednesday night on February 1, 2012 at the Salesian Boys & Girls Club of East Boston and continue through April 11, 2012.
Then the playoffs commence, and Wally Bowe will be looking down from high above courtside as Johnny Most often extolled in his raspy voice, smiling and being among the children he so loved.

The Salesian Boys & Girls Club of East Boston will field six basketball teams for teens between 14 years old and 19 years old from 5:30 p.m. to 8:30 p.m., 3 games each Wednesday night. Consisting of two 20 minute halves (running time until the last minute when stop time takes place), each team will be wearing a specially made T-shirt bearing the name of tournament – Wally Bowe.

“Wally was instrumental in doing things for teenagers and this keeps his memory alive with kids and their families,” Fr. John Nazzaro, executive director of the Club emphasized. “Each child receives a free T-shirt to wear, symbolic of our respect and love for Wally.”

The teams competing in the tournament comprise of a diverse cross-section of teens from all over East Boston. The teams are Dynasty, Bad Boys, Bean Town Bombers, J-Point, Los Papas, and Devon.

Salesian Boys & Girls Club: Wally Bowe/Salesian Tournament Basketball players Anthony Colon and Joe Granara display T-shirts to be worn during the season with Wally’s name prominently displayed. Photo Credit-Stephen Fielding

Ironically, the Wally Bowe /Salesian In House Basketball Tournament begins after the Club’s week-long celebration of the feast of St. John Bosco (January 31st) , founder of the Salesian religious order, and two years to the exact date that Wally passed away.

The Salesian Boys & Girls has continued to remember Wally in the last two years in many special ways. At the Community Breakfast held in June, 2010, he was posthumously awarded The Don Bosco Award.

Wally, as most would agree, will be right in the middle of the action, looking down, encouraging competition, fair play, and, of course, tenacious defense.


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