By: Melissa Katz, Media Relations Assistant
COLLEGE PARK, Md. - Former Maryland standout and current Baltimore Raven Torrey Smith teamed up with Washington Redskins linebacker Ryan Kerrigan Saturday evening to host the fourth annual Battle of the Beltway All-Star celebrity basketball game at Comcast Center.
Proceeds from the game benefited both Smith’s and Kerrigan’s foundations, the Torrey Smith Foundation and Blitz for the Better Foundation, respectively.
The game saw the local rivalry between the Ravens and the Redskins move from the field to the court, as a Smith and fellow Ravens teammates battled Kerrigan and fellow Redskins teammates for some good-natured competition as well as local bragging rights.
Team Ravens pulled out the victory over Team Redskins in overtime, 63-61. Current Redskin DeAngelo Hall was named Team Redskins MVP and current Brown Tori Gurley was named Team Ravens MVP. Though the teams were named for the two local football clubs, a number of NFL teams were represented on the rosters.
“When you get off the field it’s all about friendship. Torrey [Smith] is a really good guy. His foundation and everything he stands for is great,” Browns cornerback Joe Haden said. “It’s a lot bigger than football. I just like supporting him and his cause.”
The Torrey Smith Foundation aims to better the lives of under privileged Baltimore-area youth by providing educational support, opportunities and resources and the Blitz for Better Foundation’s primary mission is to provide support and resources to seriously ill, physically challenged and special need children and their families in the Greater Washington D.C. area.
“My foundation is focused on providing for underprivileged youth through educational needs or just providing anything necessary for them to be successful,” Smith said. “It relates directly to me. I know what it’s like to need help to make ends meet, so it’s very rewarding to now be able to help others.”
Three former Maryland standouts participated in the game: Torrey Smith, LaQuan Williams and A.J. Francis (Miami Dolphins). Other notable participants were Jacoby Jones (Ravens), Haloti Ngata (Ravens), Terrell Suggs (Ravens), Joe Haden (Browns), Anquan Boldin (49ers), Kirk Cousins (Redskins), T.Y. Hilton (Colts), DeAngelo Hall (Redskins) and entertainer Wale.
“It feels great to be back here at Maryland,” Francis said. “I’m glad Torrey [Smith] gave me the opportunity to come out here and support his foundation.”
After holding the event at local high schools in years past, Smith brought the event back to his roots hosting the game on the campus of his alma mater in Comcast Center. Smith’s continued support of Maryland athletics helped make the event a massive success.
“I had a great experience here at Maryland. It feels like a family to me here, and that hasn’t changed over the years,” Smith said. “I have a great relationship with [director of athletics] Kevin Anderson. Both he and the athletic department’s continued support of me and my charity really mean a lot.”
At halftime, Torrey and his wife Chanel presented four local students with the first annual Tevin Jones Scholarship, named in honor of Torrey’s late brother.
Fans in attendance were treated to an evening of giveaways, friendly competition between many NFL players as well as the opportunity to support two worthy causes. Due to the large success and support of the event this year, Smith plans to bring it back to the Comcast Center for many years to come.“I’m looking forward to next year, bringing it back to Comcast and making it an even better event,” Smith said. “If I can bring this event to the best university in the world, then why not?”