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U.P. All-Star basketball game canceled

ESCANABA — The 35th Upper Peninsula All-Star Basketball Game has been cancelled because of the coronavirus pandemic. The event had been scheduled for June 13 at Marquette High School.

“It is sad but it is our new state of reality,” said Upper Peninsula Sports Hall of Fame executive director Cathy Shamion.

“Cancelling it is the right thing to do.”

The UPSHF has held the game at various locations since 1986. Proceeds from the game go to the UPSHF scholarship fund.

Marquette High School athletic director Alex Tiseo informed UPSHF all-star game chairman Dennis Grall of the decision via email Tuesday afternoon.

“With the MHSAA making the official announcement to cancel remaining winter and spring seasons last Friday as part of an effort to remain in compliance with the directive by Gov. Gretchen Whitmer to keep schools closed for the remainder of the (school) year, this will also mean the cancellation of the U.P. All-Star Basketball Game that was scheduled to take place at Marquette,” Tiseo said.

“With safety remaining the top priority, it would be unwise to bring in different populations of students/families/fans from across the U.P.”

Grall, who had been in contact with Tiseo for the past month regarding the game’s status, agreed with the decision.

“Hopefully this decision will allow everyone the chance to mitigate health and safety issues and to concentrate on staying safe and staying healthy and maintaining safe social distances while remaining at home to let this nasty virus run its course. With spring sports and other national activities also called off, let us focus on a complete recovery and a bright future.”

The UPSHF induction banquet, originally planned for May 11, previously had been postponed to Aug. 21 at Island Resort & Casino in Harris.

The 2020 induction class includes John Barnes and Todd Dagenais of Escanaba, Jennifer (Kangas) Brody of L’Anse, the late Dewey Lane of Wakefield, William Mannisto of Houghton, Al Mitchell of Marquette, Jerry Racine of Ishpeming, the late Victor Turosky of Iron River, the late Mickey Valesano of Wakefield and Julie (Wonders) Heldt of Iron Mountain.

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