Tournament honors King

Published 10:46 pm Saturday, January 14, 2012

A player from the Style Shop lifts off for a shot while members of the Warriors, wearing red, ready themselves for the rebound at Suffolk Parks and Recreation’s Redeem the Dream basketball tournament Saturday. The tournament continues today at 3 p.m.

In order to encourage the community to embrace the message of Martin Luther King Jr. while staying active Suffolk Parks and Recreation is hosting a basketball tournament this weekend.

The Redeem the Dream tournament began Saturday, and teams will compete for the championship in games that start at 3 p.m. today.

Admission to the tournament is $2, and concessions will be for sale.

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Byron Lawrence, a recreation specialist, said Parks and Recreation wanted to host an event to get the community out to celebrate Martin Luther King Jr. Day but also give adults a chance to have fun and get active.

“This gives us the opportunity to give people a chance to be active and enjoy the basketball tournament,” he said.

Four adult recreational teams signed up to play in the tournament, three of them based in Suffolk.

Each team paid $150 to participate in the double-elimination tournament.

The teams are the Carolina Fire, with players from North Carolina; Style Shop, made up of employees from the barber shop by the same name on East Washington Street; the Warriors, with several members who played basketball at Suffolk’s high schools; and the Hometown Heroes, made up of officers from the Suffolk Police Department.

Lee Wilson, who is the captain of the Warriors and a Parks and Recreation employee, believes events like this is good for the community.

“We want to show some support for the city,” he said. “It’s a very positive thing.”

On Saturday, the Warriors won their first game against Style Shop 43-29.

Wilson said winning makes the experience even sweeter.

“It makes it that much better when you win,” he said. “We’re soaking it in until our next game at 8 p.m.”

Lawrence said his department is happy with the turnout for the tournament.

Today, Lawrence said, a winner will be crowned, but the group will do something special to remember King and his message.

During halftime, King’s famous “I Have a Dream” speech will be recited to remind players and the people in the stands the importance of loving your fellow man and embracing equality for all people.