COLLEGE PARK — When Ravens wide receiver Torrey Smith arrived at Maryland's Comcast Center on Saturday afternoon, he noticed a large group of fans standing outside in the rain waiting to enter. It was further affirmation of just how much his annual celebrity basketball game had grown.
An announced 4,493 attended the “Battle of the Beltway” all-star game, which pitted Smith’s Ravens team against a Washington Redskins squad led by linebacker Ryan Kerrigan. The Ravens won, 63-61, on Jacoby Jones’ tip-in of a miss by San Francisco 49ers star Anquan Boldin with four seconds to play in overtime.
“It’s still kind of surreal, in a lot of ways,” said Smith. “The biggest thing that we’re able to do is help more people because of it. We were able to create a different kind of environment, more of a family feel this year. Hopefully, it will continue to grow.”
It was Smith’s fourth annual game but the first one at his alma mater. The first three were at his former high school, Stafford High (Va.). Because of increased demand for the event, Smith decided to move it to College Park.
He also added several new elements this year, including awarding scholarships to high school students to honor the memory of his late brother, Tevin Jones, who died in a motorcycle accident two years ago.
“It’s a big moment for my family and the organization because folks have been supporting us since he passed,” Smith said. “Through the scholarship, and through the help of others, it allows his name to live on. He’s able to help others even though he’s not here. I’m excited about it.”
Smith was well supported by his Ravens teammates. Those to either play in the game or attend it included Jones, Haloti Ngata, Terrell Suggs, Lardarius Webb, Marlon Brown, Tyrod Taylor, Sam Koch, Bernard Pierce, Lardarius Webb, D.J. Bryant (Randallstown), Brynden Trawick, Aaron Mellette and Gerrard Sheppard (Towson).
Former Ravens Arthur Jones, Anquan Boldin, Tori Gurley, LaQuan Williams (Poly/Maryland) also were at Comcast Center, along with Ravens assistants Ted Monachino, Craig Ver Steeg, Thomas Hammock and Bobby Engram, who watched from courtside.
Other notables in attendance included NFL standouts Joe Haden, DeAngelo Hall, Greg Little, T.Y. Hilton and former Towson star Terrance West.Copyright © 2015, The Baltimore Sun