Ayla, Scott and Gail participated in the first annual Doug Flutie Rock 'N Hoops benefit to help raise funds for fighting Autism. Below is an article from The Springfield Republican
Sen. Scott Brown, daughter Ayla Brown showcase skills at Hall of Fame to benefit Doug Flutie Jr. Foundation for AutismSource
By Patrick Johnson, The Republican
April 16, 2010, 10:27PM
The Republican/Don Treeger
SPRINGFIELD – Scott Brown is a senator in Washington by day, but for one night in Springfield, he was closer to being a Washington General.
Like the hapless Generals, who serve as fodder for the Harlem Globetrotters, Massachusetts’ junior senator laced up his sneakers and joined members of his family, football legend Doug Flutie and assorted local talent for a game against the professional basketball entertainers, the Court Jesters Comedy Basketball Group.
The game Friday night at the Naismith Memorial National Basketball Hall of Fame was part of the Celebrity Rock-N-Hoops event to benefit the Doug Flutie Jr. Foundation for Autism. The more than 300 patrons were treated to comedy basketball entertainment, followed by a rock concert by the Flutie Brothers Band.
In the end, the final score had the Court Jesters winning 86-84, but in a game where the first half ends with players inviting fans onto the court for the Hokey Pokey, or where one of the Court Jesters scored an easy lay-up while riding a skateboard, the final score is beside the point.
“It’s a different style of basketball, that’s for sure,” said Derek Kellogg, head coach of the UMass Minutemen, who suited up for the Flutie All-Stars.
Kellogg said the game was more entertainment than a straight competition. “That’s more important than the final score,” he said.
Doug Flutie, the former New England Patriot quarterback who launched the foundation 15 years ago when his son was diagnosed with autism, said the organization to date has distributed $4 million to aid families with autistic children.
He said he hopes to make the game at the Hall of Fame an annual event.
Flutie, who has known Brown for years, said the senator was on board right away.
“I gave him a call and asked him,” he said.
Before the game, Brown said he was excited about playing, especially given the venue.
“It’s exciting anytime you can play in the Hall of Fame. It’s fun,” he said.
He said he was also looking forward to playing in a game with his 21-year-old daughter, Ayla, a guard with the Boston College women’s team.
He said they played in another charity game three weeks ago, only on different sides, and went at it pretty good.
“This is the first time we played together in years,” he said.
Brown renewed his challenge to President Obama to face him in a game for charity. A week after he was elected in January, Brown challenged the president to a two-on-two contest, but the challenge so far remains unanswered.
Brown said he still hopes it will happen.
“Hopefully, we can do something similar to raise money for our favorite charities,” he said. “I think people would want to pay to see it and have some fun.”
Brown started cold, clanking several shots off the rim in the first half. His shooting woes continued into the second half until he finally hit a 15-foot jumper in the fourth quarter. Moments later, he stole the ball around midcourt and scored two on an easy lay-up.
The standout Brown for the evening was not the senator, but daughter Ayla.
She hit several three-point shots, lay-ups and jumpers throughout the game to the applause of the spectators.
A one-time semi-finalist on “American Idol,” she also sang a stirring rendition of the National Anthem before the game.
The Court Jesters were not alone when it came to on-court trickery.
Flutie, who won a Heisman Trophy while quarterback at Boston College, completed a pass every bit as spectacular as the Hail Mary pass that beat the University of Miami in 1984.
Coming down the court, he sailed one into the balcony overlooking the court where a waiting Bryant Corcoran of Elms College caught it and dropped it straight down through the hoop for two points.
Andrew Schreibstein and his friend Nick Caputo, both age 10 and from Longmeadow, got a chance to meet the Browns and Flutie just before the start of the game. Each said they were thrilled.
Brown “looks better than on TV,” Caputo said.
Schreibstein showed off the autograph Brown signed for him. It read “Andrew, work hard. Scott Brown.”
“It’s good to meet Senator Brown and all these cool people like Mr. Flutie,” he said. “We’re going to brag about it in school.”
Be sure to look at a photo gallery
from the event as well as two videos of the action.