New all-star event gets test run

Former Columbus Christian girls basketball coach Ron Bridgewater is making a whirlwind dash to host an all-area basketball all-star event.

Bridgewater, who walked away from coaching after his Crusaders won the Indiana Christian Schools Tournament championship this past season, was hustling Tuesday along with Columbus Christian Athletics Director Kevin Roth to put together the event.

“It’s going to happen,” Bridgewater said.

The event, which has yet to be named, will be conducted Tuesday at Columbus Christian school. A girls all-star game will be played at 7 p.m. with a boys game following at 8:30 p.m.

The teams will be made of those selected to The Republic’s All-Area basketball teams. First-team selections will make the team automatically and honorable mentions will fill the remaining spots on each team.

Bridgewater and Roth said they hadn’t decided how to divide the teams quite yet as they only thought up the idea in the past week.

The biggest emphasis for Tuesday’s games will be to raise money to help theĀ  family of injured North boys basketball player Josh Speidel to pay for medical costs associated with his Feb. 1 auto accident. All proceeds will benefit that cause.

Bridgewater and Roth said they hope the event becomes an annual one with perhaps the site alternating between Columbus Christian, Columbus North, Columbus East and Hauser.

Details were still being decided as they were trying to make sure all the players could, and would, participate. Some of The Republic’s selections are multi-sport athletes who have other commitments on Tuesday.

Bridgewater came up with the idea for the game after watching his son, Columbus Christian senior point guard Nick Bridgewater, practicing in the gymnasium with Columbus East senior forward Connor Umphress.

They were having so much fun,” Bridgewater said.

He then added, “And I wasn’t done watching our (girls) play.

“I thought that an all-star game would give all these kids from the different schools a chance to play together. I wish I had this idea three months ago. Hopefully it is something that will grow.”

Although it is a last-minute endeavor, Roth said he has received very positive feedback as he has called around to area athletics directors and basketball coaches.

“We have a great cause and an opportunity for kids in our community and surrounding counties to play in a format that hasn’t been done before,” Roth said.

Bridgewater and Roth said they would use a college format of 20-minute halves.

If anyone wants more information about participating in or attending the all-star game, they can contact Roth at 812-344-7880.