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Local notes: Stars reunite for Toedman tourney

The 2013 Toedman Memorial 3-on-3 Tournament was wby team made up (from left) Vince Humphries Paul Kowalyszyn Chris Oates DayvEllis.

The 2013 Toedman Memorial 3-on-3 Tournament was won by the team made up of (from left) Vince Humphries, Paul Kowalyszyn, Chris Oates and Dayvon Ellis. | Submitted photo

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Updated: August 2, 2013 6:16AM

Competition was fierce as usual at the third annual Sean Toedman 3-on-3 Tournament last Sunday at Lion’s Park in East Dundee.

When the dust finally settled, a team made up of former Larkin great Dayvon Ellis, current Streamwood coach Paul Kowalyszyn, former Streamwood standout Chris Oates and former Valparaiso player Vince Humphries finished in first place in the men’s championship division.

The event raised more than $4,000 for St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital in the name of Sean Toedman, an Elgin resident who died in the 1990s at age 12 after a battle with brain cancer.

A record total of 37 teams took part in the tournament, which for the first time included a women’s division and men’s rec division.

Ellis, a two-time Courier-News Player of the Year who played in college at Eastern Kentucky, was among a big group of former local stars who participated. Among the other notable names in the tournament were 2003 C-N Player of the Year Eric Vernesiel, who played in college at Cal, 2009 C-N Player of the Year Jeff Beck and former Purdue player Anthony Johnson, who starred on Whitney Young’s 2009 state championship team.

Video highlights from the tournament can be seen on by searching the name Jeremy Hayes.

Tournament organizer David Schultz, a former basketball player at Dundee-Crown, said he hopes to add a 40-plus division and middle school division next year in an effort to raise even more money for St. Jude.

Stephanie Smith promoted at NIU

Northern Illinois women’s basketball coach Kathi Bennett announced recently that two members of the women’s basketball staff have been promoted to new roles as NIU Hall of Famer Debbie Whitman moves into an assistant coaching position and Hampshire graduate Stephanie Smith takes over as director of basketball operations.

A four-year letter-winner for the Huskies from 2001 to ’04, Smith spent the last two years as a graduate assistant for Bennett. She returned to her alma mater after spending eight years as a high school coach, including two seasons as varsity coach at Burlington Central, where she tallied a 28-28 record. She also served as an assistant at Marian Catholic and South Elgin.

A 2004 graduate of NIU, Smith earned her master’s degree in adult and higher education in 2013. During her career with the Huskies, Smith played in 113 games, starting 36 at guard. She scored 475 points and held a career .350 three-point shooting percentage, good for 10th best in program history.

“In hiring Stephanie as director of basketball operations, I have hired a unique talent,” Bennett said. “After being our GA, she has built and instilled in our players the positive attitude we need, and shares her love for NIU. Debbie and Stephanie are exactly who we need.”

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