Help On The Hardwood For A Green Country Boy

Friday, February 16th 2007, 9:15 pm
By: News On 6

A basketball fundraiser was held Friday night to raise money for a boy who has lost both parents. It's the second year for the benefit tournament. News on 6 anchor Craig Day reports the first tournament was held a little more than a year ago, and a thief made things rough for event organizers.

With every lay-up, rebound and steal, with every cheer, young basketball players and fans are lending a helping hand. Friday night’s tournament was a fundraiser for 12-year-old Jaylen Lowe.

"I think they're helpful and nice I like them watching me play,” said Jaylen.

Basketball was a passion Jaylen shared with his dad, sadly Jaylen's father, Calvin, was killed in a car accident in 2005. The basketball tournament was started to raise money for Jaylen to go to college.

"To compete and do the things he does and to go through day to day life with all the things that have happened to him, it's amazing,” Event Organizer Mike Hurd said. “He's a great kid. He's like a son to me and I love him to death."

This is the second year for the tournament in Owasso, and organizers hope this year's tournament goes more smoothly than the first one. Volunteers worked hard to raise $4,500 for Jaylen, but a thief made away with that money, stealing it from the gym. It shocked many people in the community, but after the story about what happened aired on the News on 6, a generous donor, an area businessman, wrote a check to cover the missing money.

"The community stepped up from all over and we had a pretty big donation, and it turned out to be good,” Hurd said. “We turned a negative into a positive and it turned out to be very nice for us."

With that behind them, organizers now look ahead. They hope to build on the tournament's success and to show Jaylen how much the community cares.

"I think he'd be happy, real happy and glad that somebody would make this tournament and stuff," said Jaylen.

The benefit basketball tournament runs through the weekend. The teams come from all over, Owasso, Bartlesville, and the Union school district.

If you’d like to make a donation you can do so at the Exchange Bank in Owasso.