There's still time to assemble a team and compete in the annual Rose Bigelow 3-on-3 Basketball Tournament, which returns to the Great Valley High School gymnasium Saturday. Registrations are taken right up until the 8:30 a.m. tip-off, and last year's event drew more than 300 people.
The tournament was created in 2005 in memory of an East Whiteland woman who died unexpectedly the previous year. Rose Bigelow worked as a teacher's aide in the Great Valley School District and her three children attended district schools. Most of the money raised through the tournament goes to scholarship funds for local students in her honor.
"She was a great lady, and it's a very happy day, always, to celebrate what a great person she was," said Rose's husband, Ken Bigelow.
In October 2004, Ken and his wife were enjoying their 20th wedding anniversary in Bermuda—a return to their honeymoon destination—when Rose died in a moped accident. She was 50 years old.
Ken credits Rose's friends—Steve and Gaye Jablonski, Robin Young, Bettye Byrne, Kim Knaff, Brooke Nicklas, and Tom and Lisa Nackers—with first coming up with the idea for the tournament in early 2005, and doing the work to make it a reality.
The money raised by registration fees pays for two $1,500 scholarships for Great Valley High School graduating seniors, although the most recent tournament was successful enough for three scholarships to be awarded. Some funds also go to the junior class after prom and Great Valley Basketball League.
According to Ken, Rose was working with first-graders at K.D. Markley at the time of her death. He plans to continue the tournament and scholarship program until those students graduate in 2016.
Games in the 3-on-3 tournament are played on a half-court, and registration costs $20 per player, or $15 for students. Many teams are comprised of four players, as winning squads can expect to play a full day of basketball and benefit from a rotation. For more information, see the tournament flyer attached to this article.