The Bronx was host to some of the best street ball on the East Coast this past weekend at the 6th Annual Gardiner Memorial Basketball Classic Tournament, held in St. James Park and run by The Gardiner Foundation.
The Kingsbridge Body Snatchers defeated the Shane All-Stars to claim this year’s golden watches for the second straight year. Standout Shabby Stanley was this year’s MVP.
The tournament, sponsored by Gersowitz Libo & Korek, P.C. offered free food and beverages and non-stop entertainment to all spectators.
Saturday was filled with four electrifying games that saw monster jams, amazing ball-handling and hard-fought competition. State Sen. Gustavo Rivera stopped by to show his support for the Gardiner Foundation and the Bronx community.
Sunday’s rain caused the tournament to be moved indoors to the famous Gaucho’s Gym on Gerard Ave, but that didn’t stop the crowds from coming out to catch the live entertainment, semi-final action and the youths’ 12 and under all-star game. Most importantly, the Bronx came together to honor their neighbors who have lost loved ones throughout the year and to support and encourage the youth of the community.
The Gardiner Foundation handed out five $1,500 scholarships to college-bound high school seniors, 100 backpacks filled with school supplies to youth in attendance and raffled off 13 laptops.
The Gardiner Foundation was established in 2006 by Dexter Gardiner, in memoriam of six of his family members who lost their lives in a horrific car accident on the Bronx River Parkway. Building upon his family’s legacy of helping others in need and involvement in the game of basketball, the Foundation embarked on a community outreach initiative that offers educational scholarships and financial support, emotional and spiritual guidance and burial assistance to other families in the community who have suffered a sudden and tragic loss.
“Since its inception, The foundation has awarded 16 scholarships to students entering college for the first time and continues to be an expression of hope, resilience and commitment to the Bronx community,” said Alan Farrell, an organizer for The Gardiner Foundation’s two-day event.
Gardiner met Jeff Korek, a partner at the personal injury law firm Gersowitz Libo & Korek, P.C. (Lawyertime.com), a few years ago when they played in the same amateur basketball league. As Korek and Gardiner continued to play basketball together, Korek learned about The Gardiner Foundation and the amazing work it was doing for the community. After sharing this information with the rest of the firm, Gersowitz Libo & Korek, P.C. immediately wanted to help, and have been the title sponsors for the past three years.
“The Gardiner Foundation continues to be an inspiration to all New Yorkers, and Gersowitz Libo & Korek, P.C. is honored to be the title sponsor for the tournament for the third straight year,” said Korek. “This tournament gets bigger each year, which enables the Gardiner Foundation to expand their reach and inspire so many more people in the Bronx community.”