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Tuesday, April 26, 2011

St. Francis Docs vs. Jocks vs. Drugs program set for final tipoff May 6

Manual High School’s Van Arsdales, others to participate in hoops finale
INDIANAPOLISEmmerich Manual High School is the setting for an annual charity basketball game, which has supported substance abuse awareness programs throughout central Indiana for 25 years.

Docs vs. Jocks vs. Drugs, founded and sponsored by

And when the final buzzer sounds, it will signal the end of a tradition originated in 1987 by Donald J. Kerner, M.D., former St. Francis chief medical officer and a Manual High School alumnus.

The annual game has visited 14 high school courts throughout south-central Indiana, raising funds to support drug, alcohol and tobacco prevention programs. Since its inception, more than $130,000 has been raised.

Similarly, proceeds from this year’s event will benefit Manual’s substance abuse programs.

"What began as an idea to raise funds for schools to help educate their students about the dangers of tobacco use and drug and alcohol abuse took on a life of its own," said Kerner. “Physicians so often only deal with these issues when they’ve become a crisis; St. Francis doctors have been proactive in their approach to help stop these problems before they impact to our youngsters."

This year’s game includes a free-throw shooting contest between St. Francis CEO Robert J. Brody and Eugene White, superintendent of Indianapolis public schools.

And two well-known Manual alumni and basketball stars also will compete from the charity stripe. Brothers Dick Van Arsdale and Tom Van Arsdale, who led Manual to the state basketball title game in 1961, went on to study and play basketball at Indiana University and NBA careers.

The Van Arsdales were inducted into the Indiana Basketball Hall of Fame in 1988.

When it comes to basketball, Marvin Christie, M.D., knows a thing or two about the game. He has coached the St. Francis squad from the beginning. And this family practice physician showed his prowess on the court at IU 60 years ago under the legendary coach Branch McCracken. His teammates included such luminaries as the late governor Frank O’Bannon, Bill Garrett (the school’s first African-American player and former Indiana’s “Mr. Basketball”), and Lou Watson, who later would succeed McCracken as IU’s head coach.

St. Francis physicians who have suited up for all 25 games include Donald Rockey, Pat Enright, Bob Robinson, Phil Snyder, and Tom Wisler. More than 100 St. Francis-affiliated doctors have participated in the program over the years.

Tickets for this year’s game are $5 per person and are available at the door at Manual gym before tip-off. Children 6 years old and younger will be admitted free.

Emmerich Manual High School is located at

To read about and view photos from last year’s Docs vs. Jocks vs. Drugs event, go to
2405 Madison Ave.
Franciscan St
. Francis Health, gets under way at 7 p.m., Friday, May 6 at Manual’s gymnasium. The game pits the hospital’s physicians against the school’s coaching and teaching staff.