HUDSON -- A packed house at Hudson High School was treated to a celebrity basketball that featured current and former local standouts and ex-National Football League players, including a Hall of Famer, at Rashad Barksdale's Ninth Annual Run This Town charity event on Friday.
"I felt the event was a success," Barksdale said. "It ran smoothly from start to finish, with both youth games and the celebrity game. It was a good, high action packed, close game!"
Terrell Owens, a six-time Pro Bowl selection, five-time first-team All-Pro, and a 2018 inductee into the NFL Hall of Fame, was the star attraction and was making his second appearance at Barksdale's event.
"Just being in a position to give back and understanding what it's like coming from a small school," Owens said of his return to Hudson. "Obviously there are some similarities as far as how Rashad was raised and his approach to the professional level. We didn't go to Division I schools, but whether you go to a Division I, Division II or Division III, you can never let those circumstances really decide your fate.
"It's really just about giving back. I've always been this way in my 15-year career and I've done this for several people. It's just about relationships because you never know who you may touch in these environments. I think it's great what he (Barksdale) is doing for his community, giving back."
A lightning rod for controversy ever since he began his pro career, Owens has a side many people aren't aware of, Barksdale said.
"TO is a great guy. Seriously, I want people to sit back and think about it. He is a NFL Hall of Famer. Him and I have met through several years of me reaching out to him on social media and connecting with him through a mutual friend. I’ve always had respect for him even when I didn’t personally know him, but I have more respect for him that he’s come twice to my event and has not asked for a DIME!
"Where other players I’ve reached out to are looking for large amounts of money. To give you a ballpark figure, it’s more than the average income of some people. I try to stay in contact with TO to build the relationship as I don’t want to just reach out to him when I need something. Although we didn’t play together, the NFL is a brotherhood. And yes he can still HOOP! The guy is an all-around natural talent!"
Owens finished the game with 19 points to help Team Terrell defeat Team Barksdale, 144-133. Keiland Cross led Team Terrell with 30 points. Tyler McCloud had 25, Caleb Canty 20 and Isiah Heard 12.
Day Day was Team Barksdale's top scorer with a game-high 35 points. Shane Morris had 16 and Justice Brantley 12.
Earlier in the evening, the Hudson Hawks AAU teams were in action. The Lady Hawks lost a 29-22 decision to the Albany Hurricanes, while the fifth and sixth grade boys team fell to Team Fredette from the Glens Falls area, 50-43.
On Saturday, the festivities continued with a 3-on-3 tournament, which was won by the trio of Danny Folds, Caleb Canty and Justin Oliveras.
"The 3-on-3 tournament honestly was a little bit of a let down," Barksdale said. "The numbers have been down for a couple years, as the last few years 6-8 teams have signed up where previously it was around 20-30 teams. So with that being said, I’m going to shut down the 3-on-3 next year and re-evaluate it. The young fellas took the championship, though!"
Overall, Barksdale was pleased with how the weekend went and plans to keep the charity event going for the foreseeable future.
"I think this year's event ran very smoothly," Barksdale said. "My mother, Desiree Cody, and her friends did a great job running everything, so I’m thankful for all of their time and efforts. I want to thank the Hudson community for their support. Ten-year anniversary next year, so I have to do something crazy. We’ve already had super bowl champs and an NFL Hal of Famer. What’s next!?"
Celebrity game boxscore:
TEAM TERRELL (144): Tyler McCloud 25, Matt Dallas 8, Isiah Heard 12, Lavon Fernandez 6, Caleb Canty 22, Zack Hedgepeth 3, Keiland Cross 30, Terrell Owens 19, Tank Roberson 7, Drew Smith 6, Bernard Pollard 6.
TEAM BARKSDALE (133): Shane Morris 16, Justice Brantley 12, Nytrell Hedgepeth 3, Mike Alert 4, Justin Oliveras 7, KJ 4, Rashad Barksdale 6, CJ Tarver 9, D-Low 11, P Muna 6, Day Day 35, Tank Daniels 9, Maurice Leggett 11.