Boston Celtics

It’s a big weekend in Boston, highlighted by the NCAA Men’s Basketball Regional Final at TD Garden. However, one game that needs the most attention features men and women from the two most important departments who protect and serve Boston every day. The 2018 A Shot for Life “Battle of the Badges” charity basketball game between the Boston Police and Fire Departments is this Sunday.

A Shot for Life CEO Mike Slonina founded the organization a year after his Mother beat brain cancer. Slonina wanted to give back to cancer research and held a fundraiser, setting a world record shooting all over a basketball court for 24 consecutive hours in 2011.

For the third consecutive year, members of Boston’s finest and bravest will play in a charity game at Catholic on Memorial on Sunday, March 25 at 3 p.m. In the last two years, the event has raised $10,000 for cancer research at Mass General.

Commissioner Joe Finn of the Boston Fire Department was on hand last year, as was Boston Police Superintendent William Gross. Both are expected to be on the sidelines this Sunday.

Last year the event recognized 4-year Declan Higgins, battling Stage-4 brain cancer. This year, it is no different as the event will welcome 11-year old Gavin McCarthy of Walpole. Gavin is battling Neurofibromatosis, which causes tumors to develop in the nervous system, including the brain and spinal cord. Gavin’s mother is a Boston Police Officer, and he’ll get the jump ball to start the game and then will score a basket.

The Boston Celtics have also done their part becoming a sponsor for the event. And the home of the C’s, TD Garden, will be illuminated in red and blue Saturday evening along with the neighboring Zakim Bridge in honor of the event. And on Sunday night, the Prudential building will have the red and blue atop the Boston skyline.

A Shot for Life’s Battle of Badges takes place on Sunday March 25 at Catholic Memorial Gymnasium in West Roxbury. Admission is $10 for adults and children are free.

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— By Mike “Sarge” Riley, 98.5 The Sports Hub