PROVIDENCE, R.I. (WPRI) – The second annual “Play 4 Will” basketball tournament in honor of William “Eddy” Parsons Jr. took place on Saturday at the South Side Boys and Girls Club in Providence.
The tournament honors Parsons, 15, who was shot and killed while standing outside Providence Career and Technical Academy in September 2018.
Two weeks after Will was killed, some of his friends and people who knew him reached out to his family with the idea of a basketball tournament in his memory.
“I want this to be noted that the children who were friends with my nephew or knew my nephew, they helped put this together,” said Mickey Parsons, Wills uncle. “This is something children helped put together last year, which was very successful.”
“When a tragedy occurs, the best way to combat that is to give the community something they enjoy to be able to deal with the pain,” said community activist Kobi Dennis.
At last check, more than 400 people attended the tournament, according to Dennis.
“It’s important to unite others through a tragic situation. There may be others who have lost a loved one to gun violence or any type of violence or just losing an individual. Especially a young individual,” said Parsons. “It helps all of us come together and gather for a great cause.”
The schedule for the tournament is as follows:
- Middle school co-ed: 1 p.m.
- High school girls: 2 p.m.
- Junior varsity boys: 3 p.m.
- Varsity boys: 4 p.m.
- “Old Heads” for Will’s family
The final game of elder family and friends will be played at 5 p.m. to honor William’s father who passed away earlier this year.
Parsons said the tournament is “very important” to his family because it is not just a sad day, it is a day to bring the community together in memory of Will. “It also helps my family with healing,” Parsons said. To donate, visit: gofundme.com/William E Parsons, Jr.