Barwin flashes hoops skills in McCoy's charity game

LeSean McCoy drives on ex-Eagle DeSean Jackson. Jackson led all scorers with 45 points.
LeSean McCoy drives on ex-Eagle DeSean Jackson. Jackson led all scorers with 45 points. (CHARLES FOX / Staff)
Posted: July 14, 2014

Connor Barwin arrived during halftime for LeSean McCoy's charity basketball game at Neumann University Saturday afternoon. The Eagles linebacker wore a pair of low-top running shoes and cutoff jeans.

He said he did not plan to play, but McCoy told him he needed him on his team in a game that also featured former Eagle DeSean Jackson, Cleveland Cavaliers guard Dion Waiters, boxing champion Danny Garcia, and rapper Nelly.

Barwin obliged. The former college basketball player showed he still had game, even while wearing denim.

He scooped up a low pass in the fourth quarter, pounded it twice on the floor, and rose for a two-handed jam. "Whoever said white men can't jump?" the announcer asked the crowd that filled the gym. On the next possession, Barwin knocked down a three-pointer that counted for 22 points in order to make the final minutes competitive.

Barwin was a walk-on basketball player at Cincinnati his freshman and sophomore seasons. With a depleted roster, the Bearcats head basketball coach asked around for football players with basketball backgrounds. Barwin had starred in basketball at University of Detroit Jesuit High and played 41 basketball games in two seasons for the Bearcats.

"I don't play very much anymore," Barwin said. "I play a little bit in March and April to stay in shape. You get here, your competitive spirit takes over and you have to get out there."

Jackson was the game's star, scoring 45 points. The star receiver declined to speak before the game.

"He's not an Eagle anymore, but the friendship and bond is still there. He supports me in everything I have and vice-versa I do the same. I'm happy to have him," McCoy said.

The game was part of McCoy's Shady Weekend, a three-day birthday celebration that raises money for McCoy's charity, Shades of Greatness. The organization helps fight amyotrophic lateral sclerosis, a disease that claimed McCoy's grandmother. The reigning NFL rushing leader said she "was special."

"The weird thing is she didn't care too much about sports. There were times when I had five, six touchdowns and she'd pat me on the back, something small. The next day, I would go to church with a suit on and she'd go, 'Oh my God,' " McCoy said. "It just showed you what type of woman she was."

Michael Vick, Allen Iverson, and Bernard Hopkins were among advertised celebrities who did not attend the event.

The Eagles open camp July 25 in South Philadelphia. McCoy said he is going to take the next two weeks off and will set his season goals a few days before camp starts.

"I can't wait," Barwin said. "You work all offseason and now it's time to go."


mbreen@phillynews.com

@matt_breen

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