The third annual Todd Kalivoda Holiday Showcase is taking place in Toronto | News, Sports, Jobs

TORONTO — Todd Kalivoda has made his mark on Gem City.

Kalivoda was a big fan of all Toronto sports teams and also served as a coach for the Red Knights.

Kalivoda, who died in Las Vegas on November 19, 2017, will be honored again this week at the 3rd Annual Todd Kalivoda Holiday Showcase, held Tuesday through Thursday at the George J. Kunzler Memorial Gymnasium

The event was established as the premier fundraiser for the boys’ basketball program. The event benefits not only the boys’ basketball program, but also Toronto High School students through the Todd Kalivoda Memorial Scholarship. Portions of the proceeds from the event support the scholarship dedicated to Kalivoda. Kalivoda’s wife, Carolynn, who lives in Las Vegas, and local family members are big supporters of the event.

“The response so far has exceeded our expectations and that’s because of all the hard work we’ve put into it,” said Toronto Boys head coach Sean Tucker. “We’ve had feedback from a lot of teams that they might be doing some things that they’d like to see done differently. We made these adjustments for the teams and for the fans.

“A lot of people have contacted us. They look forward to the teams, the line-up and the changes.

“When we started doing this, we had two sponsors. Now we have up to 30. It keeps growing and we are very excited about it.”

This year there will be some changes in the schedule.

“This year we have 22 teams and 13 games”, Tucker said. “We eliminated the 1 p.m. games. When we started we had five games a day. It’s difficult to have games at 1pm on weekdays because people have to work. When we started doing this, we hoped to continue it over the weekends.

“Weekday attendance for the 1pm game was low. It would be picked up for the 3:00pm game. This year we have decided to eliminate the 1pm game. We want to have good spectators for the games.”

Five games will be played on Tuesday, four games will take place on Wednesday and Thursday.

“We’re very excited about the roster for this year’s showcase, and the feedback from the community and colleges shows that they’re excited to see these teams.” Tucker said.

For the first time in the event’s short history, there will be a girls’ game when the showcase begins Tuesday at 1:15 p.m. with Indian Creek vs. Toronto.

“Todd was a girls basketball coach in Toronto, along with many other coaching responsibilities in Toronto,” Tucker said. “He coached boys’ basketball and girls’ basketball. Carolynn, his wife, supports it. It’s important to get their opinion.

“We talked about the girls being included in it. We threw it around the first year. In the second year we came off COVID and dealt with a lot of things. We wanted to make sure we got it right.

“We work on that all year round. You can’t do that in a week. We have to plan that a year in advance.

“In January I spoke to Rusty (Hodgkiss) about getting the girls involved. It was important to get his input. We do this in honor of Todd.

“We are delighted to have the girls in the showcase. The girls look forward to participating. Rusty was able to win some sponsors for the girls’ game.

“There are many problems with the logistics. We have to make sure we have the dressing rooms. We have four dressing rooms and we have to fix them.”

The Redskins have had a lot of success on the hardwood lately.

“With the girls, we want to try and win one of the better teams in the area to show how good girls’ basketball is in the Valley.” Tucker said. “Indian Creek is a team with a lot of very good talent. That’s something Coach Hodgkiss wants to do. He wants to play against good teams. Playing good teams will make the program better and build the program. We are very happy to have them in our lineup.”

Some of the boys’ teams have competed in the event every three years.

“Every year is different” Tucker said. “We have teams who want to come back. We pride ourselves on our hospitality and providing teams with a good experience that will make them want to come back.

“Marlington has been here every year. You play two games in the showcase. John Marshall has made it one of the trips they take. John Marshall plays two games in the showcase.

“A lot of teams want to take part in the tournament. It speaks to all the hard work we put into making this event a success.”

Tuesday’s playlist also includes four boys’ games.

“This year people will not be disappointed with the line-up.” Tucker said. “We work extremely hard to put together the best teams and do what’s best for the teams in terms of competition and what’s best for the fans.

“There are many games that would be the most important games of the day. Tuesday, I think the game between John Marshall and Southern will be very good. Then you have Buckeye Local and Marlington. Then we end it with Meadowbrook and Wheeling Park.

“The lineup on Wednesday is phenomenal. We have Marlington playing John Marshall. Then Patriot Prep Strasburg plays. Both teams have only one loss. We have the Madonna Tusky Valley. Then we will have a possible ranked match between Canfield and River. On Thursday the Zanesville Bishop Rosecrans play Patriot Prep from Columbus. Both are good teams. Then Frontier Barnesville and Caldwell Wellsville play. Caldwell has one of the best Division IV players in the state. Wellsville has, I think, six seniors that have been playing together since they were freshmen. We end the night with Martins Ferry heading to Toronto. Martins Ferry has a guy who averages a triple-double every game.

“We try our best to get the best possible games. We want it to be a fun experience. We want to have the best line-ups possible.”

The Toronto boys play East Palestine on Tuesday at 3pm before taking on Martins Ferry on Thursday night at 8pm.

“We’re very proud of this event and a lot of work goes into something like this every year to be successful and we usually start working on the following years after it’s over, so it’s definitely something to work on we work to be great, ” Tucker said.

Fans unable to attend the event in person can watch all games online on the NFHS network at Toronto Basketball.

“Last year we had 2500 spectators due to COVID”, Tucker said. “They couldn’t come to the games so they just watched the games. We had to step back and look at this.

“We’ve spoken to teams that run events like this and they charge people a fee to watch the games. You have to pay the broadcasting company. We have to look at this financially. you lose money If you have 2,500 viewers, you’re losing a lot of money, and that’s a fundraiser.

“People can go to the NFHS network and search for Toronto basketball. You can buy the games for a small fee and watch every game that day.”

The Red Knights will wear special uniforms against the Bulldogs.

“We will wear our military uniforms against East Palestine” Tucker said. “We will honor the Army National Guard. We were going to wear them against Trinity Christian but that game got cancelled. We were devastated that we wouldn’t get the chance to represent the army. I spoke to Lance from the Amy National Guard and due to some cancellations we are able to wear the uniforms for our game against East Palestine on Tuesday. We look forward to that.”

Tickets are $10 for adults and $6 for students. The tickets are valid for the whole day. The gym is not cleared after every game.

“I would like to thank the TCS administration for their continued support of this event, particularly Superintendent Maureen Taggart, Athletic Director Mark Ferrell, the Toronto Basketball Coaches and most importantly, the Toronto Basketball Parents and Chuck Wharton and the Total Sports Connection staff.” Tucker said.

Basketball apparel and t-shirts will be available for sale during the event.

There will also be a large food stand on all three days.

“If you like basketball, you should free up your schedule next week to see 22 teams compete under one roof.” Tucker said.

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