Basilone Bowl taking year off to regroup, reorganize, stay true to initial purpose

Devils Dogs head coach Kevin Carty Jr. of Hillsborough talks to his team after winning the 2022 Basilone Bowl 21-7 on June 14, 2022. (Photo: Mike Pavlichko)

When the very first John Basilone Bowl was played in 2013, with the major involvement of the Marine Corps, the goal was to raise money to donate to wounded soldiers. It was perhaps the noblest of causes.

But financial times have become more difficult. Even before COVID, but especially since.

Two years removed from the pandemic, Montgomery football coach Zoran Milich – who took the lead on organizing the game last year for the first time – says the Basilone Bowl didn’t turn a profit last year and couldn’t make a donation.

On Wednesday, Milich announced on Twitter that the Basilone Bowl – which features top graduating seniors from Somerset County, and a handful from Hunterdon – would not be played in 2023, but hopes to return to the summer all-star game landscape in 2024.

Milich says last year’s game finished $1,000 in the red, despite all participants selling their allotment of tickets, great weather for the game, and solid walk-up ticket sales at the game’s namesake Basilone Memorial Stadium at Bridgewater-Raritan High School.

Photo Gallery: Images from the 9th annual Basilone Bowl – June, 2022

Typically, the Marines make a large donation to the game, which then goes to charitable organizations like those that support wounded soldiers. But Milich says after taking the game over last year, he learned the event has not been able to make a donation in the past five seasons.

Click below to hear Zoran Milich talk with Central Jersey Sports Radio’s Mike Pavlichko about this year’s hiatus for the Basilone Bowl, as well as the game’s future:


  1. Very sad to hear about this. I have officiated the last 3 Basilone Bowls..

  2. Such a shame. My older son played in this wonderful game and I was looking forward to supporting this event and seeing my younger son participate also. I wish it was made more public before this that more fundraising was needed. What can be done to ensure next years event occurs?

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