Family and friends of the late Paul Valentine are hosting the 12th annual Paul Valentine Memorial three-on-three basketball tournament this weekend.
The profits from this year’s tournament will go towards improving the basketball courts at Willway elementary school in Langford.
“(Willway’s) court is a bit beat up,” said Craig Kadir, a tournament organizer. “We are trying to fundraise to get some new backboards and rims.”
The tournament organizers and Valentine’s family and friends want to raise enough money to upgrade several basketball courts on the West Shore. They have chosen Willway first because it was Valentine’s elementary school.
“Any money we make, we just put it right back into the community,” Kadir said.
For the past 12 years the tournament’s profits have been used for projects such as building a second court at West Shore Parks and Recreation, creating a scholarship and sending students to camp.
Paul Valentine was murdered during an unprovoked attack in 1998 in a McDonald’s restaurant parking lot in Saanich. Only 19 years old, Valentine was hit over the head with a piece of lumber by another teen.
“I was out with him the night he was murdered,” Kadir said. “We try to make good out of a sad situation.”
Valentine and Kadir went to middle school and high school together. Kadir remembers Valentine’s funeral being packed with friends and family.
“Belmont had about 1,500 students and Paul was friends with someone from every group at the school. He touched a lot of people,” Kadir said. “He was the life-of-the-party kind of guy.”
Although Valentine wasn’t on the school basketball team, he had a love of basketball and often played at the outdoor court at the West Shore recreation centre with Kadir.
Over the years Kadir has seen many of the same people enter the tournament and watched their children grow up on the court.
The tournament is open to all ages and abilities with games running July 9 and 10, 10 a.m to 4 p.m. at West Shore Parks and Recreation, 1767 Island Highway.
The basketball courts are on the eastern edge of the property, past the soccer fields, near the baseball diamonds. Spectators are welcome.
Three-on-three teams can register under U13, U18, open and over 30 divisions.
For more information on the tournament or to donate call Kadir at 250-208-7837 or see www.mwdesigns.ca/PaulValentine3on3.html.