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August 01. 2013 11:31PM

Remembering a Queen City hoops star

Sam Carey Classic tonight

Manchester Millrats Sam Carey, facing, looks for teammate PJ Young (34) as BJ Robertson of the Vermont Frost Heaves defends during Sunday's home opener at Southern New Hampshire University in this 2009 photo. (Mark Bolton/Union Leader file)

Whenever Luke Bonner thinks about the Manchester Central-Trinity boys’ basketball rivalry during his high school career, Sam Carey quickly pops into his head.

“We were in the same grade, grew up together in high school and had some memorable battles in the paint,” said Bonner, who played for the Pioneers. “We were on opposing teams, but Sam was always a great friend during and after our high school playing years.”

Carey, who went on to play for Southern New Hampshire University, died in November of 2011 while driving home from Quebec City to see his son, Brayden, fiancee Kayte Kenyon and family.

“We’re still keeping his memory alive,” said Southern New Hampshire University guard Mike Stys, organizer of the second annual Sam Carey New Hampshire All-Star Classic set for tonight at 7:15 at Manchester Central.

Bonner said he’s looking forward to having his brother Matt, a San Antonio Spurs forward, at the game. Matt Bonner is planning to participate in a three-point shooting contest.

“I know Matt wanted to be at the game this year,” said Luke. “Sam worked in many of Matt’s summer basketball camps and they became very good friends.”

Manchester Central head coach Dave “Doc” Wheeler will coach the White/Green squad.

The 10 players on his team are David Cooper (Central HS, SNHU, James Madison), Miguel Gonzalez (Holy Cross HS NYC, SNHU), Tim Lee (Farmington, SNHU), Matt Lemieux (Central HS, Colby-Sawyer College), Chris Brickley (Trinity HS, SNHU, Louisville), Corey Hassan (Merrimack HS, Sacred Heart University), Gregory Lacasse (Bentley University), Bonner (Trinity HS, UMass Amherst), Chris Tardif (Bentley University) and Mark Campbell (Nashua HS).

The Navy/Gold squad will be coached by Jeff Gore, assistant coach for the Penmen.

Players include Scott Hazelton (Central Catholic HS, University of Rhode Island), P.J. Young (Central HS, SNHU), Chris Burns (Merrimack HS, Bryant College), Curt Scully (Manchester West HS, University of Central Florida), Keith Friel (University of Virginia, Rochester Razorsharks), Joe Fremeau (Central HS, Bentley University), Austin Denton (Merrimack HS, NHTI), Troy Bowen (Nashua North HS, SNHU) and Will Brooks (Central HS, Purdue University).

“It’s really exciting to get back playing with all the guys,” said Bonner. “Last year felt weird playing on a team coached by Doc with all Central guys on it. But seriously the crowd last year showed its support and love for the entire Carey family. I felt it all over the gym (at SNHU). This year I hope to see the gym at Central packed and its my hope we raise a lot of money for a great cause.”

Bonner said he’s looking forward to having his brother Matt, a San Antonio Spurs forward, at the game. Matt Bonner is planning to participate in a three-point shooting contest.

“I know Matt wanted to be at the game this year,” said Luke. “Sam worked in many of Matt’s summer basketball camps and they became very good friends.”

Luke Bonner said BST Basketball out of Northern New England ( is teaming with the Rock on Foundation, an official 501c3 non-profit organization founded by the Bonner brothers to help raise money for the Carey Classic.

Stys said proceeds raised from tonight’s game will provide a scholarship to a Central High student and Bonner said through the Rock On Foundation they plan to renovate a basketball court at one of the parks in Manchester.

“Our foundation just donated $8,000 to the city of Concord to upgrade the basketball courts at White Park,” said Bonner. “Our goal is to do the same for a park in Manchester.”

In memory of Carey, Luke Bonner said he plans to make a spin move to the basket from the baseline tonight. “That was Sam’s signature move inside and no one did it better than him,” said Bonner.

Doors will open today at 4:30 p.m. for the Boys’ High School Summer League playoffs.

The semifinal games are slated for 5 and 6 p.m. and the finals will start around 8:15 p.m. after the Carey Classic game.

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