The Bronx was full of fun and excitement August 14th and 15th as the Fifth Annual Gardiner Memorial Basketball Classic Tournament, sponsored by Gersowitz Libo and Korek, P.C.strong>, was held in St. James Park (Bronx, NY). Thousands of spectators came throughout this two day event to enjoy live entertainment, free food and beverages, high flying basketball action, and most importantly, to show love & support for their fellow community members.
The tournament kicked off Saturday with New York Knicks legend John Starks addressing the crowd and tossing up the opening tip-off. The rest of the day was filled with intense competition, where four of the eight teams were eliminated. Assemblyman Michael Benjamin and his Chief-of -Staff and wife Kennedy Benjamin stopped by that afternoon to honor The Gardiner Foundation for the work they do in the community and presented them with an official citation.
Sunday rain didn’t stop the crowds from attending throughout the day to catch the live entertainment, semi-final action and the youth 12 and under all-star game. Jack The Hoop Wizard Ryan entertained the crowd with his amazing shots and tricks. At one point, he was spinning ten basketballs at once!
Although local spectators and basketball fanatics were thoroughly entertained throughout the day, everyone remembered the real reason they were there- to support and encourage our youth and to bring the community together to honor and comfort those who have lost loved ones. Seventeen local families who have lost loved ones over the past year were presented with memorial plaques to show the community support during a powerful celebration of life and prayer for the families. Bronx Borough President Ruben Diaz, Jr. then presented citations to 4 deserving college-bound high school seniors, along with four $1,500 scholarships from the Gardiner Foundation. The outdoor activities wrapped up with 13 laptops and a camera raffled off to local youth and distributed by current NBA superstar Ben Gordon of The Detroit Pistons and Jeff Korek, a partner of Gersowitz Libo and Korek.
By 6 pm on Sunday, the rain wouldn’t let up, and the championship game was moved from St. James Park to the legendary Gaucho’s Gym, also in the Bronx. The move didn’t dampen anyone’s spirit though, as the gym was packed with spectators to watch the Body Snatchers from Kingsbridge, coached by Dean and David Seagers, vs. the Sure Shots from the Fordham section, coached by Elana Moss. The Sure Shots kept it close for awhile, but the Body Snatchers ended up pulling away under the leadership of David Seagers and Lester Hunte. Some stand out players for the Sure Shots were Richard Forrea and Malloy Nesmith. The Body Snatchers won 115-97 and Seagers was named the MVP. During half time, 4 large flat screen TVs & one IPAD were raffled off to adults in the crowd, and the children in attendance were presented with backpacks filled with school supplies- 48 in total.
Gersowitz Libo and Korek, P.C. was proud and honored to be the title sponsor of this amazing event for the second year in a row, and we have already started planning for next year’s tournament! To learn how to get involved with the Gardiner Foundation and next year’s tournament, please contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org.