Celebrities faced off on the court, but the winners were the kids at the Summer Classic Charity Basketball Game at the Barclays Center on Aug. 21.
Yankee pitcher CC Sabathia and his former teammate Robinson Cano skippered teams of sports and entertainment greats to raise money for their respective charities serving kids in need. ESPN basketball analyst Jay Williams and Power 105’s Angie Martinez lent their star power as masters of ceremonies.
“I love doing stuff like this,” said Martinez. “Number one, because it’s charity, so you feel like you’re doing something positive, and it’s fun and it’s good people here.”
All proceeds from the event were split between Sabathia’s PitCCh In Foundation and Cano’s RC22 Foundation, which aim to increase opportunities for under-served youth by promoting education, wellness and fitness. Sabathia was pleased to be able to team up with his former teammate to boost their shared cause.
“Me and Robinson have known each other for a long time now,” said Sabathia. “Us being able to combine our foundations and for us to get an outcome like this, it’s a great thing.”
Cano was happy to be back in New York to support the cause with his former teammate, but he said he had no regrets about bolting the Yankees to sign a $240 million multi-year deal with the Seattle Mariners.
“I don’t have any regrets about what I did,” said Cano. “I made my decision.”
Sabathia and Cano both served as coaches for their respective teams and got some assistant-coaching help from Derek Jeter, Carmelo Anthony, Kevin Durant, JR Smith, Kyrie Irving and James Harden. Jeter was excited to support both of his friends, and their foundations.
“It’s for a worthy cause,” said the retiring Yankees captain.
The teams featured big names from sports and entertainment, including singer Chris Brown, rapper and producer DJ Khaled, Power 105’s DJ Clue, retired New York Giant Tiki Barber, hip hop artist Fabolous, R&B singer Ne-yo, and Jersey Shore’s Vinny Guadagnio, who was particularly impressed by the venue.
“Playing basketball at the Barclays Center is awesome,” said Guadagnino.
Rihanna even showed up to watch the game courtside, but reportedly threw some shade in Chris Brown’s direction when he got too close working the crowd.
The stars of the show were Brown, who dropped 18 points, and retired football great Terrell Owens who scored 23 points and was named the game’s most-valuable player.
Team Cano won the game 73–71, but the event raised more than $1 million, which is the score that really counts.