By Dylan Butler
The Knights will compete in the second annual Tom Crotty Memorial Classic at St. John's University on Sunday. Holy Cross also played in the first annual event last year-they were actually the first team to play-in an event that honors the memory of Crotty, a Rockville Centre native who was the only former Division I basketball player to die during the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks. Crotty, who played at Marist College, was a managing director at Sandler O'Neill, an investment banking firm that had an office on the 104th floor of 2 World Trade Center. He left behind his wife, Joanne and two daughters, Catherine and Caroline. What makes this one-day tournament even more special for Gilvary is that it also honors the memory of former Holy Cross player Ryan Fitzgerald, who also died on 9/11. Fitzgerald, who was in the Holy Cross class of 1993, worked as a foreign currency trader at Fiduciary Trust. He was one of 17 Holy Cross alums to die that day. “He came off the bench and he was just a great kid, he had a great attitude,” Gilvary said of Fitzgerald. “He was a hard worker and he was very popular with his teammates and coaches.”Fitzgerald was an avid Yankees fan and loved the Dave Matthews Band. He was working on his M.B.A. at Dowling College when he died. The Hope Thru Hoops Foundation, which is organizing the event, will award a sportsmanship plaque in Fitzgerald's honor in each of the seven games to be played at Carnesecca Arena.”My team knows that it's not just another non-league game, not just another tournament to play in,” said Gilvary, whose team has played in tournaments in Florida, Binghamton as well as the PSAL-CHSAA Challenge last month. “We're excited to play in it and of course the opportunity to play in St. John's is great for the kids.”Gilvary's Holy Cross Knights, which seems to be everyone's sleeper pick to win the CHSAA city championship this year, will take on New Jersey's Don Bosco Prep, featuring Pittsburgh-bound Tyrell Biggs in the third game of the tournament. The opening game, which tips off at 10 a.m., features Monsignor McClancy and sharpshooter Stephen Wood against Bishop Ford in a league game.One of the best rivalries in the CHSAA is renewed in the day's second game when No. 2 Rice, featuring Curtis Kelly and Edger Sosa, takes on defending city champion St. Raymond's and St. John's bound Ricky Torres. No. 3 St. Anthony's and its longtime coach Bob Hurley will then face the Hun School in a Garden State clash at 2: 30 p.m. At 4 p.m. Cardozo with Vic Morris and Drew Gladstone, will play New Jersey's Bloomfield Tech.No. 6 St. Mary's of Manhasset with its three Division I players (North Carolina-signee Danny Green and Tyrone Hanson and Tyson Johnson, who are each going to Monmouth) will face Xaverian and Pitt-bound Levance Fields in the first of back-to-back televised games on MSG Network. The Classic's final game pits defending New York State Federation champion No. 24 Mount Vernon against New Jersey powerhouse No. 15 St. Patrick's.The combination of five teams ranked in USA Today's Top-25 and the very worthy cause makes this the high school basketball event of the year. Reach Sports Editor Dylan Butler by e-mail at TimesLedger@aol.com or call 718-229-0300, ext. 143.