Philadelphia Eagles Star Joins AC 3-Point Showcase

Philadelphia Eagles receiver A.J. Brown and a host of others at the 3-Point contest in Atlantic City. Nazim Derry, of Goldey Beacom College, won.

Philadelphia Eagles Star Joins AC 3-Point Showcase
Philadelphia Eagles star A.J. Brown (left) gives trophy to winner Nazim Derry. Photo Credit: Craig Matthews

ATLANTIC CITY — Nazim Derry won the City of Atlantic City Recreation Department’s 3-point Showcase on Wednesday, March 27, but the free community event was about much more than basketball. (To see the full gallery from the event click this link.)

Derry beat out Philadelphia Eagles receiver A.J. Brown and a host of others at the contest held at the Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. School Complex at 6:30 p.m.

Nazim Derry kisses the trophy that he won . Photo Credit: Craig Matthews

The recreation department honored former Atlantic City High School Principal William Steele with a Lifetime Achievement Award.

Former Atlantic City High School Principal William Steele holds Lifetime Achievement Award. Photo Credit: Craig Matthews

Community activist Shermaine Gunter-Gary received the Hometown Hero Award.

Shermaine Gunter-Gary (center) holds Hometown Hero award. Photo Credit: Craig Matthews

Former Atlantic City High School standout athlete Willie Glass, who graduated from St. John’s University and was later drafted by the Los Angeles Lakers received, the Living Legend Award.

Willie Glass (Left) received a Living Legend Award. Photo Credit: Craig Matthews

The Hot Topics dance group also received a $10,000 donation from the Agronomed Foundation, which is connected to a soon-to-be-open local cannabis dispensary, to help the dance team travel to Florida to compete in their national championships.

Hot Topics received a check for $10,000. Photo Credit: Craig Matthews

Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. School Complex Principal Jodi Burroughs was also honored for always welcoming the recreation department into the building for community programs.

Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. School Complex Principal Jodi Burroughs received her flowers. Photo Credit: Craig Matthews

Mayor Marty Small, Sr. praised the recreation department for its hard work and said his goal is to have free events that the community can enjoy.

“It’s another example of the Small administration saying what it means and meaning what it says,” Mayor Small said. “We had two celebrities. It was a great event, and it was free.”

Mike Griffin, director of Parks and Recreation for the City of Atlantic City, said the community got to interact with celebrities and was treated to family-oriented entertainment.

“We want to link the older generation with the younger generation,” Griffin said.

Assistant recreation director Eric T. Rembert said young people need programs such as this.

“At the end of the day, the kids need something to do,” Rembert said. “It’s all about showing the kids what they can be. We want to give them outlets, give them resources so that they’re not just sitting at home watching TV and playing video games.”

Glass commended the city for sponsoring the event and said it stirred visions of old times.

“It brings back memories of when we used to be up in here,” Glass said. "When I walked in, I got that old feeling like I wanted to strap up and get on the floor.”

Glass is synonymous with Atlantic City High School basketball during the 1980s era.

“It’s always good when people remember you,” Glass said.

Gunter-Gary and Burroughs both said they were shocked by the adulation of the crowd.

“I didn’t expect all of this,” Gunter-Gary said. “I just thought I was being acknowledged. But the roses are beautiful, and the plaque is beautiful. I didn’t know it was going to be all of this.”

Burroughs said she appreciated the fact that she was honored for opening the building to the community on a regular basis.

“We love having the community here,” said Burroughs. “This is not my school. This is our community school.”

The bleachers were packed with fans cheering on the shooters who were chosen by the recreation department with community input. Throughout the night, the recreation department raffled off prizes that included bicycles, and even autographed Eagles memorabilia. Many focused on their friends and family who were in the contest. Others wanted selfies with Brown. Comedian Bubbadub was also on hand for the event.

Derry, who attends Goldey-Beacom College in Delaware said the 3-Point Showcase was important to the community.

“This is an awesome feeling,” said Derry. “The community came out. There was no drama. It went well.”

Derry also said it will be something that students here will remember.

“They got to experience A.J. Brown,” Derry said. “Kids may never get that experience again so it’s a great event.”

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