By Rebecca Gunning, @Beck2141
The second annual John J. Watson Memorial 3v3 Basketball Tournament will be held at St. Bonaventure University this Saturday in the Reilly Center Arena beginning at 11 a.m. This event is in honor of John J. Watson, a marketing professor who passed away in May of 2012.
Like last year, the tournament is being run by a group of five students who are in Dr. Mike Russell’s Event and Sponsorship Marketing class. The students are seniors Alex Lewis, Sarah Gaulin, Alyssa Primerano, Tyler Pauly and Kayla Cronin.
“It was a good event to pick because it was successful last year and Dr. Watson was a big fan of basketball,” said Lewis, a marketing major. “We wanted to do something in remembrance of a great professor who impacted the business department.”
Gaulin, also a marketing major, explained the event was close to the hearts of some in their group.
“He was also a mentor and adviser to a few of us freshman and sophomore year so this event is personal to us,” Gaulin said. “His passing was sudden and tragic so we believe his life and memory should be celebrated annually with a sport that was such a big part of his life.”
The money raised from the tournament will benefit the Chris Dudley Foundation which encourages those affected by diabetes to live an active lifestyle.
“Dr. Watson’s son is a diabetic,” Lewis said. “So we wanted the money to be donated to a cause that could possibly help the Watson family.”
There are 16 total teams participating in the event – five women’s teams and 11 men’s teams. The women’s teams will play a round robin style and the men’s teams will play double elimination bracket style. All games will be self-officiated.
Last year there were no women’s teams, so the group is encouraged by the increase in participation this time around.
“We are very excited to have girls involved,” Gaulin said. “By having a men’s and women’s bracket our hopes are the tournament can continually scale up each year to keep this event going!”
The students believe Saturday’s event will bring a big crowd into the Reilly Center because Watson was such a beloved figure at the university.
“I see a ton of people coming out to our event,” Lewis said. “The Bona community recognizes Watson as a professor who had a positive influence here doing what he loved most.”
Even though students are unable to play in the tournament unless they signed up previously, the group still encourages them to come out and watch their peers.
“If you’re bored on Saturday afternoon and want to see some good basketball, stop on by to the Reilly Center court,” Lewis said.
So far $2,500 has been raised for the foundation. The students are looking for people to make check donations the day of the event, and they will be auctioning off raffle baskets. The winners of the tournament will receive a prize to be announced Saturday.