The Donofrio Classic is celebrating its 59th anniversary this year.
What makes the four-week tournament so special is the players. The top talent in Philadelphia and its surrounding areas flock to the Fellowship House of Conshohocken every spring. The history, the high level of competition and everything that comes with it are what keeps them coming back.
“(The Donofrio Classic) gives you a chance to play with people you don’t normally play with,” Plymouth Whitemarsh junior guard Caelin Peters said, “and you play against really good competition as you see a really good Raw Sports team we just played. It gives you a chance to get that exposure and get scouts watching you.”
Peters suited up for Don-Len for the second consecutive year in the Donofrio Classic. After a first-round win, they were eliminated by Raw Sports Tuesday night, 122-86.
The high level of talent that the Donofrio is known for was on display Tuesday. Raw Sports, the defending champs, have a roster full of players that will continue their basketball careers in college — John Bol Ajak (Westtown/Syracuse), Zach Freemantle (Bergen Catholic/Xavier) and Jalen Gaffney (Westtown/UConn) are just a few examples.
“You always get better when you play against good competition,” Peters said, “so you just learn something new every single time and hope to get better from it.”
Peters, who finished the second-round matchup with seven points, seven assists and four rebounds, has been working on his game since the Colonials season came to an end in the District 1 Class-6A playbacks against Conestoga.
“Just being a leader, smart, a true point guard,” Peters, who was a co-captain in his first year as a starter for PW last season, said of the areas he’s trying to improve, “looking for my teammates as always and athleticism is a big part I need to work on. I’ve been in the weight room getting that done.
“Just getting ready for AAU,” he added about his recent focuses. “Hopefully get an offer this 17U season. I’ve been in the gym countless hours and practices with my team.”
Peters will play for the Jersey Shore Warriors this AAU season before taking on the role of PW’s No. 1 option as a senior.
PW underclassmen Luke Dicianno (sophomore), Jaden Pryce (junior) and Ray Tomassetti (freshman) joined Peters on Don-Len. Dicianno hit a three-pointer in the second half.
Don-Len led for much of the first half before getting cold offensively when they reached 30 points. They fell behind by 10, 42-32, before cutting their deficit to four, 48-44. Raw Sports finished the first half with six straight points to take a 54-44 lead into the break and never looked back.