“KUUUUMMMMAAAAARRRRRR,” rang out again and again after each 3-pointer, getting louder until the final shot was made.
This is what it’s all about, commented Brad Matsugu, tournament organizer, with a smile.
The 3rd Annual Kumar Classic was held on Saturday, June 11 at Rockway Mennonite Collegiate in memory of Jay Kumar. In 2014, the KW Vipers lost Jay to an aggressive and rare brain tumour known as Diffuse Intrinsic Pontine Glioma (DIPG). In Jay’s honour, the Kitchener-Waterloo Youth Basketball Association (KWYBA) hosts the 3v3 Kumar Classic. This year’s tournament welcomed over 500 players, spectators and volunteers from all over the province. Players and their families came from local areas such as Kitchener, Waterloo, Cambridge, Brantford and Guelph, as well as surrounding regions such as Hamilton, Burlington, Toronto and London to participate in a full day of activities. The tournament set a new record for furthest distance travelled for a team as the LeBron James Division had a team come all the way from Ottawa. It made it to the finals battling hard against a local KW team.
The tournament’s events included 3-on-3 competition with seven divisions of both male and female ballers ranging in age from 9 to 18. Six courts bustled with players all day with volunteer referees and court monitors keeping track of scores. Throughout the day, hundreds of players tried to qualify for the afternoon’s 3-pt Shootout Challenge, where the best players competed to be crowned the 3-Pt Champion. Last year’s champion, Brent Lasovich, was put to the test but in the end pulled through and retained the title of 2016 3-Point Shootout Champion. Men and women varsity basketball players came from both the University of Waterloo and Wilfrid Laurier University to play, showcasing their talents and providing advice to our young players.
“We are extremely proud of what the Kumar Classic has become and cannot thank the participants and volunteers enough as they make our event so successful every year,” said Matsugu.
Brain Tumour Foundation of Canada
Every day, 27 Canadians are diagnosed with a brain tumour. There is no cure. Brain tumours are unpredictable and complex. The Brain Tumour Foundation of Canada raises funds to lead research into the cause of and cure for this devastating disease. (www.braintumour.ca)
Jay Kumar Memorial Scholarship
Jay loved to play the game of basketball and was fortunate to be able to financially afford the cost of the sport. Unfortunately, this is not the case for all kids who also love the game of basketball. The Jay Kumar Memorial Scholarship was established to help overcome the financial barriers that exist in families that prevent a child from having the opportunity to participate in organized sport and experience the benefits of active living.
Submitted by Kumar Classic