Garrett Miley (@GWMiley)
The Danny Rumph Classic has become one of the best basketball tournaments in the city, featuring high-level talent from various professional leagues. The eight-team, double-elimination tournament begins on Aug. 1 and runs through Aug. 5′s championship.
The classic is the premier event for the Daniel E. Rumph II Foundation, which was founded eight years ago after Rumph passed away on a basketball court due to hypertrophy cardiomyopathy, the leading cause of sudden cardiac arrest. The foundation’s goal is to raise money to provide heart screenings for local athletes, ages 5-to-19, to detect hypertrophy cardiomyopathy early in an athlete’s life.
“It’s a disease that is definitely treatable and definitely detectable,” said Mike Morak, who started the annual event a year after Rumph’s passing.
Morak first started the tournament eight years ago, with the Daniel E. Rumph II Recreation Center (formerly the Mallery Recreation Center) in Germantown as its venue.
“It started after [Rumph’s] mom and dad asked me to sit on the board for his foundation,” Morak said of the tournament. “I wanted to see what I could do and how I could add value. I knew I could put together a basketball tournament of Danny’s peers to come together for a weekend and try to remember him and bring everybody back together.”
The event has grown in popularity over the years. It has since moved on from the recreation center and into Arcadia University’s gym, which has been a great host for event as it grows in size.
Many of the city’s most well-known players are the backbone of the foundation. Hakim Warrick of the Phoenix Suns has been one of the biggest supporters, as the Philadelphia native has participated in each of the first seven tournaments. But the support for Rumph and his foundation has begun to transcend his peers and breach into the next generation of Philadelphia basketball.
“We had a few different generations of players playing together in that first tournament,” Morak said. “it’s a nice environment now to see the young kids coming up the ranks and you get a chance to see guys who used to play in the tournament years ago who are a little bit older now…those varying ages in there show that his name has continued to live on.”
The star studded lineups of the eight tournament teams draw a great crowd to the event each year, as fans hope to get a glimpse of professional players from the NBA, NBA D-League, European professional leagues, as well as Philadelphia basketball legends from the past. As important as the basketball competition is, however, Morak and the Daniel E. Rumph II Foundation know that their signature event is part of a much bigger picture.
“At the end of the day, the basketball stuff is great and we love it,” Morak said. “We love having everybody out, but we want the idea and the mission of the foundation to be at the forefront which is to save the next great star.”
Danny Rumph Classic Basketball Tournament Schedule:
Thursday, August 1
6:00 PM (G1): Car Care Kings vs. Temple Alum
7:00 PM (G2): Redz Creative Cutz vs. Team FamJuice
8:00 PM (G3): F.O.E. vs. Rumph Center
9:00 PM (G4): JT Ballas vs. Team Hansberry
Friday, August 2
6:00 PM (G5): Loser G1 vs. Loser G2
7:00 PM (G8): Winner G3 vs. Winner G4
8:00 PM (G7): Winner G1 vs. Winner G2
9:00 PM (G6): Loser G3 vs. Loser G4
Saturday, August 3
1:30 PM (G10): Loser G6 vs. Loser G7
2:30 PM (G9): Loser G5 vs. Loser G8
3:30 PM (G11): Winner G7 vs. Winner G8
4:30 PM (G12): Winner G9 vs. Winner G10
Sunday, August 4
2:00 PM (G13): Winner G12 vs. Loser G11
Monday, August 5: Championship Game
7:00 PM (G14): Winner G11 vs. Winner G13