Friar Basketball

Recap of PFB Summer Weekend of the Stars

PFB_STARS_Weekend_Lineup 2

This summer the Providence Fullcourt Boardroom held their first “Weekend of the PFB Stars.”  Here is a recap of the weekend from the group.


PROVIDENCE FULLCOURT BOARDROOM: One Year Later, Already Making A Difference, and Looking Forward to a Bright Future

PROVIDENCE FULLCOURT BOARDROOM (PFB) recently marked its one year anniversary. At the outset, Providence College Athletic Director Bob Driscoll stated, “We are encouraged that Dickey (Simpkins) and Sean (Holley) want to help our men’s basketball program. We hope that their efforts are successful and they are able to fulfill their mission.”
Well, given the following and strong support that has developed, the organization clearly has established a positive presence, with a major future looking forward.

There may have been attempts in the past to create such a group, but none have been successful like what the pair of PC alumni – Sean (PC 1984) and Dickey (PC 1994, who played a major role on PC’s only BIG EAST Championship team, later won three NBA Championships with the Chicago Bulls, and is now an executive with Charlotte Bobcats) – have firmly established.

The PFB was founded in summer of 2011 by Sean and Dickey.  PROVIDENCE FULLCOURT BOARDROOM focuses on:

  • Providence College former athletes: reconnecting, connecting, and maintaining the relationships of former PC athletes for personal and business purposes, as well as their general well-being.  Also mentoring of recent PC alumni athletes.
  • Providence College: supporting and promoting PC with particular attention on PC athletics, and also mentoring PC students.
  • Youths: mentoring and empowering youths to secure their futures.
  • Providence extended community: enhancing, promoting the general lifestyle of youths, women, and men of the extended community.
  • Providence, New England, and beyond:  PFB’s scope and reach is extensive and transcends well beyond Providence into national and international.  PFB will strive to support and promote the region in various ways.
  • Social Media: utilizing the social media medium to maximize all aspects of PFB.
  • Fundraising: raising funds to address all aspects of PFB.

“Dickey and I have put a lot of care, respect and energy into creating PFB, and our main interest and focus goes to the love and commitment of our Providence family, because this is absolutely for them!” says Holley.

Clearly the pair love and support PC Basketball.  Simpkins is a season ticket holder and Holley attended every home game last year.  Holley did not hesitate to lend his support when approached by the Providence athletic department to help spread the word and encourage PC alumni players to attend the alumni game and the Big East Tournament last season.  PFB  also sponsored a table for the PC ’97 Elite 8 Reunion Event at Westin.  And those are only a few examples of their involvement.

Simpkins added “I am very pleased with the outpouring of support that PFB has received from our PC alum athletes, PC alums, and others in the community.  We started this organization to help PC and the Providence community that played a big part in our lives.  We saw the difference PFB can make and we are excited to keep growing towards all the positive visions we have as a group.”

Taking a look in review is warranted. During the course of the 2011-12 season, PFB hosted a number of events for former players, alumni, and general public.

PFB’s first event, “Welcome Home To Providence, Ed Cooley”/ “Providence’s Official 2011-12 College Basketball Season Launch Party” was strongly supported and an amazing success.  At the event Ernie DiGregorio said “what Dickey and Sean are doing here is really special and it is a great asset to the college.”

“This is something that we always wanted and always will need, and I hope we continue on having this,” added Soup Campbell.

DiGregorio went on to say, “what Dickey and Sean are doing here – getting all these players back and getting them involved in the program will only increase opportunity to recruit great players and also put a buzz in the program.”
Campbell summed it up with, “This is family, and it speaks for itself!”

Vin Parise, expressed his thoughts on the Cox show Friars All Access, “(It’s a) great idea. Great concept by Sean and Dickey and just a terrific event.”

Ed Cooley agreed, “It was so comfortable to be there to see so many different eras. Everyone coming together for one common goal: and that would be to support what we have going forward.”

Parise asked, “Is this important to you? Do you want to keep this going?”, and Cooley quickly responded, “I hope so. It allows us all to come together…that’s what the brotherhood is all about!”

Click here for video of the event.

And during last season, PFB held a number of other exciting and well-attended events, including the Holiday Party,  Alumni & Family Weekend event, and a number of players and fans gatherings after games throughout the season.

In August, the PFB had its signature event, their first annual “PROVIDENCE FULLCOURT BOARDROOM SUMMER WEEKEND OF STARS.

The weekend brought together many Providence greats from a variety of generations. The fundraising weekend had Providence-related beneficiaries, including the MarShon Brooks Foundation, Ryan Gomes’ Hoops for Heart Health Foundation, Lou Cole’s Louminati Youth Foundation, and PFB scholarships for youths from Providence Boys and Girls Club to attend the Ed Cooley Basketball Camp.

In a variety of different settings that showcased Rhode Island, this August’s events brought together many that read as a list of who’s who, including: Abdul Adullah, Siamone Bennett, Vladine “Mr. Providence” Biosse, MarShon Brooks, Michael Brown, Mary Burke, Sean Canty, Soup Campbell, Frank Carpano, Chris Carter, Lou Cole, Kevin Connolly, Ed Cooley, Scott Cordischi, Jacek Duda, Trent Forbes, Jim Foster, Will Gilbert, Ryan Gomes, Sara Hogan, Ken Hopkins, Michaela Johnson, Sheiku Kabba, Lynne-Anne Kokoski, Mary Larsen, Oliver Macklin, Andrea Mangum-Robinson, Mark McAndrew, Lou Merloni, Steve Napolillo, Jenny-Kate Ozug, Tony Petrarca, Rob Phelps, John Rooke, Marvin Saddler, Dickey Simpkins, JP Smollins, James Sorrentine, Aubrey Stallworth, Harold Starks, Mike Stud, Ray Tessaglia, Otis Thorpe, Ricky Tucker, Tony Turner, Jeff Xavier, and many more!

The group shared memories and reconnected with fellow Providence alums and others, as well as connected with new friends.

The action-packed event got a jump-start on Thursday, August 9th, when PFB arrived at its headquarters for the weekend, The Providence Biltmore. “The Providence Biltmore was thrilled to be part of the PROVIDENCE FULLCOURT BOARDROOM SUMMER WEEKEND OF STARS in August. It was wonderful to see several  Providence College graduates, some having been fortunate to go onto play professional basketball! We are looking forward to having them return for their next event,” said a representative from the Providence Biltmore.

Holley stated “Mary Milton (Sales Manager) and the Providence Biltmore staff were very attentive to our needs. The prime location, and first-class accommodations, along with large spacious rooms and detailed service allowed us to feel at home.  And the stay was even more enjoyable with ‘Thursdays on the Terrace’, McCormick & Schmick’s and The Spa at the Providence Biltmore right on the property.”

Then the weekend was officially kicked off with PFB SUMMER WEEKEND OF STARS LAUNCH PARTY at Ladder 133.”Damian Santoro (Owner), Derek Flemming (Owner) and everyone Ladder 133 provided the perfect atmosphere to start the weekend off with a great buffet and service at a location that put us back in our Providence neighborhood. And we appreciate the special touch added to the evening by Horizon Beverage and New Castle for sponsorship and product. Ladder 133 is an awesome designed bar and grill which is certainly not your ordinary sports bar experience,” said Holley.

Then it was on to Blu On the Water for the PFB THURSDAY NIGHT AFTER PARTY. Simpkins commented, “we appreciate Jarod Chelo (owner) and his staff for having us at Blu. It capped the first night off with a great crowd, great music, at a beautiful venue right on the water in East Greenwich.”

An event-filled Friday started with an appearance on the Rhode Show by Gomes, Holley, and Simpkins.

The Rhode Show (hosted by Will Gilbert, Michaela Johnson, and Mary Larsen) had Tony Petrarca interview the PFB trio. Holley shared that “Rebecca Johnson (Producer of the Rhode Show) was very attentive to making sure that we had the opportunity to promote the PFB WEEKEND to their amazing viewership.”

(click here to see Gomes, Holley and Simpkins on the Rhode Show)

Next up was an emotional visit to Hasbro Children’s Hospital. “It is clear why Hasbro Children’s Hospital is the premier facility in the region,” exclaimed Holley.

“You definitely feel touched after spending time with these amazing children. We are blessed and we wanted to take the time to help the kids find their smile, and to know that they had our support and that they’re being thought of,” added Simpkins.

One of the parents, Tammy Ricci, said, “I can’t tell you how thankful I was for you all putting a smile on KJ’s face…it warmed my heart. Visits go a long way for these kids who are here so long and so often.  He was so excited and told everyone about it!”

From there a large group went Providence College to visit with Ed Cooley and his basketball campers. “We have tremendous admiration and respect for Coach Cooley, and he firmly has our support,” stated Holley. And Simpkins added that “PC is fortunate to have Coach Cooley. He is the right man on and off the court to get PC back on track. We are here to support him and PC in any manner they see fit.”

Before leaving campus the PFB contingency went to St. Thomas Aquinas Priory for a lengthy visit with Rev. Robert A. Morris, O.P. “The Dominican Friars have played an important part in shaping all of our lives, and it is important to us to spend time with them when able,” said Holley.

That Friday evening was the first annual PFB STARS BILLIARDS INVITATIONAL at Snookers. The place was packedwith Providence greats headlined by PC Men’s Basketball Head Coach Ed Cooley, along with NBA ALL-ROOKIE team MarShon Brooks, Providence’s all-time leading scorer and NBA player Ryan Gomes, and NBA WORLD CHAMPIONS Dickey Simpkins and Otis Thorpe.

The large gathering enjoyed the fun and competition with the Snookers crowd. Sheiku Kabba was crowned champion after beating out Jenny-Kate Ozug (head women’s basketball coach at Bristol Community College) in a hard fought finals match, during which both displayed exciting shot making through the rack.

“Stephen and Regina Goulding (owners), Jess Freeland (Manager/Event Coordinator), Ray McNamara (Manager/House Pro), and the amazing Snookers’ staff went out of their way to make this a major success! Everyone kept raving about how much they enjoyed the evening at Snookers, with tremendous anticipation for the next event there,” stated Holley. “And a special thanks to Long Trail for the great beer and David White (PC 1984) for sponsoring the food.”

And if that wasn’t enough excitement, Friday evening was capped off with the PFB FRIDAY NIGHT AFTER PARTY at Providence’s premiere night spot, View Lounge. At a setting with the Providence skyline, Providence River, Riverwalk, and Waterplace Park as a backdrop for the Providence greats in attendance, it was certainly an exciting end to an amazing day.

Holley, clearly pleased, said “I can’t say enough about Jess Simone Braza (VIP/Promotions Manager) on how she executes an event and how she knows how to take care of her guests to make sure they have a memorable time.  And the service of the View staff gets it done!”

Although there was the threat of severe weather coming through the area, Saturday did not disappoint.  Simpkins started the day off with an early morning appearance on WEEI for the “Go Local Prov Sports” show with John Rooke and Scott Cordischi.

Then there was the first annual PFB STARS GOLF INVITATIONAL. Domenic Coletta (PC 1978), a close friend of the owner of Cranston Country Club, Michael Lombardi, and frequent golfer at the course, secured the course f0r the golf event – and Colleta advised Holley of the logistics/format for the golf outing.

“Cranston Country Club provided a beautiful course and facility for PFB to hold our first annual golf event. The guys throughly enjoyed the outing. And a special thanks to those who helped make the golf event even more special,  especially Boch Toyota (Hole-In-One Sponsor), Golfer’s Warehouse (Hole-In-One and prizes Sponsor), McLaughlin & Moran (courtesy David Frye), Graphic Innovations, Shamrock Financial Corporation, Fuelocity,

Teecil, Expressions, and  Great Place To Learn! And PFB is very appreciative of PC Athletics bringing a four-some!” said Simpkins.

Stephen Squillante, Jr, Teecil Inventor/Founder shared his experience on Saturday, “As a recent 2012 PC graduate,PROVIDENCE FULLCOURT BOARDROOM gave me a great opportunity to showcase my business at their first annual golf invitational. It was great meeting other Friars and Friar fans and be able to show off the Teecil to them. Without the support of PFB, I would not have had an opportunity to be able to showcase my product to so many golfers and Friar supporters. PFB showed they want to help out current and former Friars any way they can!”

“There are so many great players that played at Providence that I heard about but never officially met,” said Gomes. “I think this is such a great event for us to get together, bond together, and share the history that Providence has.”

“It’s something that was needed!” said Thorpe.

Click here for video from Fox Providence

After everyone had a chance to regroup, the final evening presented even more excitement.  The first stop was The Whiskey Republic for PFB STARS SOCIAL MEDIA HAPPY HOUR and PFB SUMMER WEEKEND OF STARS SATURDAY NIGHT. “After a long day on the golf course, The Whiskey Republic was a great venue on the water with delicious food and drinks.  Tyler Almeida (Assistant GM) and

Suzanne Roman were great to work with in setting up the event, and their hospitality that evening was equally great,” commented Holley.

Then it was time for the grand finale of PROVIDENCE FULLCOURT BOARDROOM SUMMER WEEKEND OF STARS. The weekend, which was packed with excitement, was capped of at Vanity with PFB SUMMER WEEKEND OF STARS SATURDAY NIGHT AFTER PARTY. Holley was thrilled in saying that “Vanity is a HOT spot! Great food! Great drinks! Great looking design! And Ed Brady (owner) is the man! Ed is unmatched in handling business when it comes to making sure that Vanity VIP guests have an epic night. And the hospitality from Sarah Mederios (Hostess) certainly had everyone enjoying the night. And Corona certainly needs to be acknowledged for their awesome contribution to the evening in VIP behind the legendary velvet rope.”

Some of the other important partners for the event include Hundredproof and Marquee Screenprinting.
Other individuals that played an important role are Craig Belhumeur, Kwaku Frimpong, and Dan Gruslin.

Coletta exclaimed “Sean did a great job. Dubbed ‘The Godfather’, it looks like he delivered!”

However, the consumate team player, Sean made it clear that “Dickey and I have been on the same page since day one with this venture. First and foremost, we sincerely care about each and every one of the group, and their well-being comes first. And we also want to enhance Providence and the extended community. There is nothing to gain individually. This is a team. And our strength comes from being a strong team and family.”

Ricky Tucker was thrilled with the weekend and said “the Providence family which grows each year and Providence basketball are both very important to me! I really appreciate Sean and Dickey taking the initiative to form PFB. This PFB, this weekend, and the other programs have been needed for years now and it has my full support in seeing to it that it continues!”

PFB’s future is equally as exciting and powerful. PFB is firming up their organization in many ways, including new legal and financial/accounting representation, as well as various committees to address such aspects as direction and plans. The list of upcoming events will be announced soon, including 2013 PROVIDENCE FULLCOURT BOARDROOM SUMMER WEEKEND OF STARS.  PFB is in some exciting conversations to add to their Sponsorships and Corporate Partners.

And the list of those involved with PFB continue to grow at a rapid pace.  Some of those included are: Abdul Adullah, Delray Brooks, Marshon Brooks, Derrick Brown, Donny Brown, Michael Brown, Troy Brown, Mary Burke, Quinton Burton, Sean Canty, Soup Campbell, Chris Carter, Jim Cholakis, Lou Cole, Ernie DiGregorio, Jacek Duda, Bill Eason,  Bill Fields, Trent Forbes, Ed Gately, Ryan Gomes, Ray Hall, Carl Hill, Sheiku Kabba, Britt King, Nehru King, David Kipfer, Ray Knight, Ernie Lewis, Andrea Mangum-Robinson, Erron Maxey, Mark McAndrew, Lou Merloni, Abdul Mills, Eric Murdock, Jason Murdock, Pete Murphy, John Nolan, Paul Oristaglio, Rob Phelps, Al Roth, Marvin Saddler, Rob Sanders, Jerry Scott, Carlton Screen, God Shammgod, Abdul Shamsid-Deen, Dickey Simpkins, Michael Smith, Kevin Stacom, Aubrey Stallworth, Jamel Thomas, Otis Thorpe, Ricky Tucker, Tony Turner, Thomas Walters, Chris Watts, Eric Williams, Rudy Williams, Corey Wright, Darryl Wright, Kyle Wright, Steve Wright, Jeff Xavier, and more.

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