Hoopers on the Island are in for a rare treat next month.
The Martha’s Vineyard Regional High School (MVRHS) basketball team will be facing their rivals Nantucket at TD Garden — home court of the Boston Celtics — on Sunday, Jan. 14, at 1 pm.
The game is a part of a fundraiser for the Andrew James Lawson Foundation, a Norwell-based nonprofit organization established to help people with intellectual and developmental disabilities experience inclusion in their communities, according to the foundation’s website.
The inter-Island matchup is one of several varsity basketball games hosted during the foundation’s TD Garden Invitational. The first game of the day is a unified basketball match between Plymouth North High School and Plymouth South High School.
MVRHS Athletic Director Mark McCarthy said the high school has a “long, long history” of playing at the Garden, such as playoff games. McCarthy said in 1979, the Boston Celtics actually offered schools the chance to play rivalry games at the former Boston Garden, which was later succeeded by TD Garden, and he was a part of a game against Nauset.
This is the first time the school has headed to TD Garden for a fundraiser. McCarthy said the coach from Nantucket came across the opportunity with the foundation, and reached out to MVRHS. The invitational bumps up the number of times the rivals will meet during this winter season to three games.
McCarthy said each school needs to sell 400 tickets, and he hopes the many MVRHS alumni in the Boston area and a good following from the Island will help them attain that goal. “It’s going to be a good time,” he said.
MVRHS varsity basketball Head Coach Mike Joyce said this was an exciting event. Joyce said he has received a lot of positive response about the upcoming game from students and the community. “What an awesome experience for the kids, to get out on the Garden floor, where the Celtics play,” he said.
But the Vineyarders will still need to be focused for this game, since it will be a part of the team’s season record.
Updated with comments from MVRHS varsity basketball head coach Mike Joyce.