Have you ever wanted to watch the Pittsburgh Steelers play a basketball game? Have you ever wanted to do so in the name of a good cause? Then tonight’s your night if you’re (relatively) local or willing to travel, because for the 16th consecutive year, members of the organization past and present will participate in a charity basketball event.
According to the Courier Express, among the names that you will see out on the court is James Harrison, in what I believe will be his first event in which he participates as a ‘Steeler’ since his retirement last year, outside of Brett Keisel’s ‘Sheer Da Beard’ charity event.
Harrison, a long-time member of the team, was released late in the 2017 season following a tumultuous year in which it seems that neither party was acting according to expectations. Harrison implied that he was led on about playing time he would not receive, while he was accused of sleeping in meetings and generally being a less than ideal teammate. He finished that year with the New England Patriots and then retired.
But tonight, he will be representing the Steelers, though it’s not clear who else will be doing so. Likely, the bulk of the basketball ‘roster’ will consist of names that only diehard fans are probably going to be intimately familiar with, such as, perhaps, Bucky Hodges. I can see somebody like Marcus Allen, a Penn State alumnus, definitely playing. Don’t anticipate seeing Ben Roethlisberger, however.
“We’re pleased to announce that we’re bringing back the Pittsburgh Steelers to play some local All-Stars for the 16th consecutive year”, the United Way Executive Director told the paper regarding the event. “This fundraising event is to help raise money for the less fortunate in our area. The money all goes back into helping out our member agencies”.
According to the article, other players who have previously participated in the event include Keisel, Ike Taylor, Chris Hoke, Willie Parker, and Charlie Batch, among others. I would imagine there will be a mixture of players on the 90-man roster as well as veterans from the past participating in the charity event. Many former players remain local, putting roots down in the Pittsburgh area.
This might not be the most exciting football news in the world, but I figured that following a cavalcade of articles about Antonio Brown, Le’Veon Bell, and Roethlisberger being either great or terrible and who is causing what drama, it would be nice to get a story out there about something that is actually positive.
And considering that this event takes place tonight, it’s probably pretty important that it gets published now, no? I have previously attended a similar event involving the New York Giants and it was admittedly a lot of fun and includes opportunities to get autographs and speak with the players. Head over there if you’re interested; see the linked article for more information.