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Help Savon's Travel Basketball Team

ESPN 760 personality and WPTV sportscaster Jason Pugh did his best LeBron James pre-game impersonation with a cloud of baby powder prior to the jump ball. His teammate, Jeremy Marks-Peltz, grabbed a rebound during his brief time on the court, before becoming the sideline reporter.

For both teams, it was a game about survival and redemption for the ESPN 760 squad.

Each team brought more players to keep up with the hectic pace and no one needed oxygen on the bench. The ESPN 760 team had 17 players, including on-air personalities Pugh, Wells Dusenberry and Marks-Peltz, along with WPTV reporters Mike Trim and Ryan Calhoun.

Savon's Academy responded with 13 players, including former Royal Palm Beach High School stars Amber Ford and Patrice Collie, and current Royal Palm Beach junior varsity coach Rob Cincotta. Nicole Dixon, who will be a junior playing at Oxbridge Academy, also played for Savon's Academy.

"We wanted to redeem ourselves," said Pugh, whose team took its first lead at 13-11 and built a 46-41 halftime advantage. "We're happy to come out and support an excellent program."

Chris Eddens led Savon's Academy with 40 points, while Smith added 15 and Matt Baxter scored 10 points.

"It was excellent; our best one," said Smith. "It was a great turnout."

Smith has been volunteering at the Royal Palm Beach Recreation Center for more than 10 years, gradually building a travel basketball program.

In addition to basketball, Smith also teaches his players that hard work and perseverance is a key to reaching goals, whether it's to be a successful businessman, a pro athlete, or an entertainer.

"It was great that coaches from other communities participated," Smith said. "Teamwork is important in everything."

July 25, 2012|Y.A. TEITELBAUM



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