The Tournament Sports Foundation is geared up and set for its first 3 on 3 “Rep Yo Crew Give em the Rock” basketball tournament Saturday at Florida A&M’s Gaither Gymnasium.
Demetrius A. Murray, who is the president founder and Marquis Williams, the team coordinator, met each other in Tallahassee after Williams came to pursue sports again after suffering a football injury at Virginia Tech University.
Murray thought of TSF after he and Williams worked with the neighborhood kids at a local church in the Tallahassee community. They would go out every Sunday and play catch with them and noticed the number of kids increasing each week with other neighborhood kids wanting to join.
Williams and Murray got the idea to start mini tournaments to make things competitive, but the overall goal was to find a way to be a positive role model for every kid involved. They traveled to different complexes and held tournaments with $100 gift cards, the turn out sparked the idea of having more teams compete for more money to bring the community together.
“We would run tournaments with elimination rounds,” Murray said. “From there, we just wanted to put a formula to it to see how we can actually instill some morals and structure in their life outside of sports so they won’t fall into the predicament that Marquis fell in to. ‘Just in case it doesn’t work out, what are you going to do?’”
The tournament now involves 10 teams that compete for $4,000 and the non-profit tournament is meant to assist athletes and former athletes gain professional development and connect them to local business leaders and companies in the area with their mini job fair.
“The large prize money is an incentive to bring unity to the community members, business leaders, and local organizations,” Murray said. “Volunteers play significant roles in the success of a community and we want to be to organizations like what United Way is to large non-profits. We sincerely believe that the less organizations are relying on their members for fundraising, the more they will get people to commit.”
Among the few sponsors and companies are: Job Corp, Judge Robert R. Wheeler who represents the second district and the City of Tallahassee utilities marketing leaders. Luc St. Hilaire, the CEO of Elite Campus Movers will be the keynote speaker.
Rebecca Jones, the director of communications is focused on reaching out to everyone, whether it is spiritually or mentally, as long as the organizations message is seen and understood.
“We want to make a generation where we have to have a relationship with God now. How he significantly impacted our lives and the direction the we’re going, is not something we want to hold for ourselves, we want to share that with our peers. That’s the underbelly of our organization.”
Jones understands that giving up is not an option, especially with what their company stands for.
“We’re in a position where we can’t walk away, we’re either going to go hard and try to seek change or no change will come at all.”
The event is from 2-7 p.m., for more information visit the play tsf website.