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Cedar Beach hoops league canceled this year

If this was like a normal summer, the Cedar Beach Summer Basketball League would be about half over by now. Fans would be flocking to the Allentown park Tuesday and Thursday nights to see the games. And the amateur prognosticators would be deep into arguments about which teams will go on to success in the winter season.

Unfortunately 2020 is not a normal summer. Sports at every level, indoors and outdoors, have been put on hold while the nation tries to figure out how to navigate its way through the first pandemic of most of people’s lifetime.

The Cedar Beach Summer Basketball League was one of many casualties of the strange and unprecedented time. But there is still hope for a tournament later in summer if larger gatherings are allowed.

League director Glen Klein held out hope for the league as long as he could. Instead of starting in May, he hoped to start it later and play a shortened season. But with the state just moving to the Yellow stage of reopening last Friday, gatherings of more than 25 people are still banned. The city hasn’t even put the rims back up in it’s parks.

“He was hoping to start the second week of June,” said John Hrebik, who is Klein’s right-hand man when it comes to running the league and the Bash at the Beach tournament. “Then we were hoping to do a tournament the second week of June, but the city isn’t issuing permits for June.

“He’s hoping to run something at the end of July or early in August.”

Whether or not it happens will depend mostly on two things.

First is whether or not the city of Allentown allows people to congregate at the park by then. The second is whether the governor moves our area to the Green phase of reopening.

If Lehigh County moves into the Green phase, crowds of 250 people will be allowed and it could open the door for this year’s Bash at the Beach to be held late in summer.

Hrebik said that they had the usual number of teams slated to play in this year’s summer league. The tournament could draw an even larger field than other years because so many teams and players are anxious to suit up and get some games played.

The other annual basketball tournament held at Cedar Beach, the A-town Throwdown, has already been canceled and that fact could add to the interest in the Bash at the Beach if it’s the only tournament held there this summer.

Klein plans to take it week-by-week and won’t give up or cancel the tournament until he determines it will be impossible to hold this year.

“The one thing I can say is there is hope,” Hrebik said.