Whitman-Hanson Regional High senior, Alex Uva, will be capping off his high school hockey career at the 2018 Shriners All-Star Classic.
Uva was one of 52 Massachusetts boys’ hockey players to be selected to play in this event, which will take place Saturday, March 31 at 4 p.m. at the Canton Ice House. Uva, an assistant captain and four-year varsity player for the Panthers, said he was informed of the selection after a Jan. 24, 8-3, victory over Pembroke.
“We came out with a big win that day and after the game coach [Chris] Googins told me that I had been selected,” Uva said. “I was very proud and honored to be selected to the Shriners All-Star game. I thought of my teammates, too. I wouldn’t be in the position to be selected without them.”
Googins, who was the one to nominate Uva before he was selected by a committee, said in the two years he’s known Uva, his commitment at excellence, both in the classroom and on the rink, was unparalleled.
“His dedication as a student-athlete has been really noticeable,” Googins explained. “Just his passion and love for the game, along with his character is probably what stood out to me to nominate him. He’s a high-character kid and he’s very passionate about the game, and I respect that.”
Uva said he first began skating when he was 3 years old and shortly thereafter was playing competitively. He credits his father, Jeff, who is an assistant coach on the boys’ hockey team at Cardinal Spellman, for his success on the ice.
“Ever since I first put on my skates, I fell in love with the game,” Uva said. “My dad is my biggest hockey influence and he has taught me everything I know about the game. Without him, I wouldn’t have made it where I am today.”
With the selection to the Shriners All-Star Classic comes an immense responsibility: raising money. The game is centered around generating proceeds to benefit the Shriners Hospital of Children. Uva is using the three standard options offered by Shriners to accept donations.
• The first option is a $75 donation to sponsor him. This donation comes with a polo shirt and two tickets to the game.
• The second option is a $30 donation to be a hockey patron — that gets your name in the program.
• Third, you can donate any amount ($2 minimum) and write Uva a short message wishing him the best of luck in the game.
If you are willing to donate, Uva can be reached at email@example.com.
All checks, which should be written out to Shriners Hockey Classic, and donations must be in by Feb. 28.
MORE THAN A SHOWCASE
“The Shriners game means a lot to me,” Uva said. “Of course, it is great to be recognized as one of the top high school players in Massachusetts, but this is so much more than just a showcase. Being able to help raise money for such a great cause is something I take pride in.
“At the orientation, they showed videos of what patients go through at Shriners. The severe burns and other awful injuries these kids deal with makes you feel terrible. What really hit me was when they said that all the money we donate as a group can save a child’s life. I’m willing to go above and beyond in fundraising to be able to accomplish this goal.”