For the 3rd year in a row, the Mary Kline Classic has raised thousands of dollars for brain cancer research in the form of an all-star game for future college basketball players.
Started in 2011 by the then-17-year-old Alex Kline, the event invites key recruits from the Northeastern part of the country to compete in an underclassmen game, a three-point contest, a dunk contest, and an upperclassmen game. Kline, who has since become a widely-known recruiting expert, is now a rising sophomore at Syracuse and was recently listed as a part of the Forbes Top 30 Under 30.
Kline’s mother Mary passed away when he was just 10-years-old after she battled brain cancer for over 5 years. When he got old enough, Alex decided to do something about it. The event has now raised over $50,000 for the National Brain Tumor Society and Brain Tumor Research at Thomas Jefferson University Hospital.
For the second year in a row, future Penn Stater Geno Thorpe (Shaler, Pa.) was invited to the event, and on Sunday night at Philadelphia University, he proved why.
With 20 points, 3 rebounds, and 3 assists, Thorpe earned the Most Outstanding Player award for his team, Team Courage. Other members of Team Courage, who ended up winning the game 116-112, included Providence commit Brandon Austin (who originally was committed to Penn State until last summer), UConn commit Kentan Facey, and Cincinatti commit Jermaine Lawrence.
Thorpe started the game and finished with 8 points in his first 5 minutes. He started each 10-minute quarter and was able to show off his driving, defense, and even dunking skills throughout the entire game. Despite each team having newly-acquainted members, Team Courage showed solid chemistry in their passing and fast breaks. In addition, Thorpe was tough on defense, diving for every loose ball — something that shows what Pat Chambers saw in him.
After the game, Thorpe was presented with the Most Outstanding Player plaque, much to the excitement of the 15-or-so members of Nittany Nation who made the trip to Philly to see him play.
“We really wanted to let him and everyone else there know that we are excited for Geno and we are behind him”, said Nittany Nation president Darnell Brady. “With our THON family suffering from a similar form of cancer, we definitely wanted to show our support for such a wonderful event.”
Surrounded by plenty of reporters, Geno had great things to say about Penn State after the game.
“There was a trust factor between me and Pat Chambers,” said Thorpe on his decision to commit early in his junior year of high school. On the topic of Jermaine Marshall, Thorpe believes he and the other incoming freshman have an opportunity to step up. In addition, he gave credit to Tim Frazier, D.J. Newbill, and John Johnson, saying the back court will have solid talent. Finally, Thorpe described his game by hustling on defense, and said he “likes to bring intensity to the game.”
As for seeing some of his future classmates travel to see him play, he said, “I’m just happy they support me wherever I go.”