Anthony Armstrong, Torrey Smith Team Up For Charity Basketball Game
By ADAM HIMMELSBACH | firstname.lastname@example.org
Over the past few months, Torrey Smith was often asked if his charity basketball game would be held in Maryland.
After all, Smith graduated from the University of Maryland in 2011, and last season he was a standout rookie wide receiver for the Baltimore Ravens.
He has been active in the Baltimore community, but he does not want to forget where he came from.
“It’s important for me to let the [Fredericksburg] community see athletes they can look up to,” Smith said. “It’s important to give them that opportunity, because I know I didn’t have those opportunities when I was a kid.”
On Friday night, The Torrey Smith Foundation will team up with Redskins wide receiver Anthony Armstrong’s Lucky 13 Foundation to host its second annual charity basketball game at Stafford High School.
It will be one of the most star-studded events to come to this area in years. The game will feature one team that includes several Baltimore Ravens facing a team composed of several Washington Redskins.
It’s not quite the Battle of the Beltway, but it should at least have a rivalrous feel.
“Obviously, this is a Redskins area,” Smith said. “Even though I play for the Ravens, I know this is a Redskins area.”
Running back Ray Rice, quarterback Tyrod Taylor and offensive lineman Michael Oher – the subject of the movie “The Blind Side” – are scheduled to highlight the Ravens’ contingent. Armstrong and kick returner Brandon Banks are among the Redskins who are expected to take part.
There will be other participants who are neither Ravens nor Redskins but will still be familiar to football fans.
The expected guest list includes: Philadelphia Eagles running back LeSean McCoy; Cleveland Browns cornerback and former Spotsylvania resident Joe Haden; and New Orleans Saints lineman and King George native Jermon Bushrod.
Smith said he is expecting up to 20 NFL players to attend, although some might not play in the basketball game.
“Everyone’s pretty excited,” Smith said. “Last year, we put it together in like two weeks and still had a great turnout, and everyone enjoyed it. This year, we’re expecting to do even more.”
Tickets are $10, or $7 with three canned food items. Smith said the canned goods will be donated to the Fredericksburg Area Food Bank.
Proceeds from the event will benefit the Torrey Smith Foundation. Last year, the money was used to purchase football equipment for children in need. This year, Smith said, he hopes to purchase school supplies and possibly develop a mentoring program.
“Torrey has maintained a very close tie to this community,” Stafford athletic director Wes Bergazzi said. “It’s really nice to see the kids come back who have been successful, and to give back.”
Smith was selected by the Ravens in the second round of the 2011 draft. As a rookie last season, he had 50 catches for 841 yards and seven touchdowns, helping Baltimore to the AFC title game.
He has returned to the Fredericksburg area often this offseason, usually spending quiet time with his mother and grandmother. And he is already working hard to prepare for next season.
“It’s been fun for me,” Smith said. “I’ve been reflecting on last year, and thinking about what I can do better.”
Doors open at Stafford High School at 6:30 p.m. Admission is $10, or $7 with three canned goods.