OSAN AIR BASE, South Korea — The architect of the first Far East high school All-Star boys basketball game for Class AA and A players is leaving the Pacific.
Greg Rosenberger, for five years a math, physics and biology teacher at Osan American High and coach of the school’s boys basketball team, will transfer with his wife, Janet, to Keflavik Naval Air Station, Iceland. He’ll teach math and physics, while his wife will serve as a math instructor.
While guiding Osan to its first Class A Far East championship, Rosenberger worked since last November to put together the inaugural combined Far East All-Star basketball game.
The event, played Feb. 22 at Seoul American High, site of the Class AA tournament, featured 25 players — 16 Class AA and nine Class A — from the 24 teams in both tournaments.
In departing, Rosenberger said he is “optimistic” about the All-Star game’s future.
The Class AA and Class A tournaments are returning to Seoul American and Osan, respectively. The proximity of the tournaments made it possible to play the contest.
Osan American would get the second All-Star game, at the base’s main gym on Feb. 21.
“We got a commitment from the base gym here; they would love to sponsor it next year,” Rosenberger said.
Class AA tournament director Don Hedgpath, Seoul American’s athletic director, said the large-schools contingent is on board with staging a second All-Star game.
“It seemed to work. Hopefully, we can do it again,” Hedgpath said, adding that buses could be found to bring All-Stars and spectators from Yongsan Garrison, the Class AA host site, to Osan, along with referees, if needed.
“The only thing that would interrupt it would be force-protection issues, which is a concern for any tournament we do.”
A key on the Osan end, Rosenberger said, is finding another head coach and Class A tournament director with “capable hands to ensure it will happen again next year.”
“The groundwork is done. We’ve proven that it’s not only a doable but highly desirable thing. It’s a matter of ensuring preplanning, that things are in place and ready to go,” he said.
Hedgpath agreed. “It depends on who comes in behind him and wants to take it on,” he said.
One coach who watched the inaugural All-Star game, Seoul American’s Steve Boyd, called it a “great experience” for the players and wants to see it happen again.
“You could see the excitement in their faces,” said Boyd, who sat among the crowd of 700 at Seoul American’s Falcon Gym.
“I was surprised to see that big a crowd. It was a great way to cap off the tournament. I was a spectator and I know I thoroughly enjoyed seeing all the kids perform and I know the kids enjoyed it.”
The 25 players were split into East and West teams, with the West winning 112-88.