2nd annual Avery Brown Classic
BUCHANAN, Mich. – AB FOREVER. That is the hashtag on all the jersey’s, t-shirts, bags, and headbands at the 2nd annual Avery Brown Classic.
“It warms my heart and lifts my spirits every time I hear 'AB Forever,'" Jared Rusher said, a friend of Brown's.
This 5 v. 5 double elimination basketball games are being put on the day before soon to be 30-year-old Avery Brown’s birthday.
The event is taking place to honor and remember Brown who was shot and killed at Mishawaka’s old Bleachers Bar in September of 2018.
Now, the family has taken it upon themselves to make sure Brown and his memory survive. Family and friends said that there is no better way to honor Brown than to shoot hoops.
“When I think of Avery, there’s two things I think of—laughing and basketball," Rusher said.
“He loved basketball, so what better way to honor a basketball player than to have this event going on," Maurice Miller said, a friend of Brown's.
This basketball tournament was held at Buchanan High School from 8 a.m. through 6 Sunday night, carrying on the legacy Brown left behind.
“Avery Brown lives on because he was so much more than just a basketball player, so much more than a friend," Rusher said. "He was a brother, he was someone you could call in the middle of the night and just talk to…somebody that would come and just pick up your spirits if that’s what you needed.”
Brown's family and friends wanted to use the annual Classic as a way to raise awareness of gun violence in the community.
“The violence, it just needs to stop," Eli Lewis said, a friend of Brown's.
“Stop and put the guns down, stop being violent," Miller said. "You know, the world could be a better place if people would learn to communicate and not let anger get the best of them.”
Adults paid $10 at the door while kids 6-13 years-old paid $5 and 5 and under are free
Concessions were available for purchase as well as t-shirts, headbands, bracelets, and more all adorned with the logo #ABFOREVER.
The proceeds from the event will go towards the Avery Brown Scholarship fund.
The scholarship is a $500 fund that will be given to a Buchanan High School graduate heading to college.
No student has received the scholarship yet, however funds from 2019 and this year will be given to a student after the event.
Buchanan High School students can apply—family tells ABC57 that they have not yet determined who will receive the scholarship or the specifics surrounding the applicant.
Contributions to this story also made by: Brenda Koopsen