Second annual John J. Watson basketball tourney a success

By Rebecca Gunning, @Beck2142

The second annual John J. Watson 3v3 Basketball Tournament was held Nov. 23, 2013 and was deemed to be a success.

The tournament, run by a group of seniors for Mike Russell’s event and sponsorship marketing class, was held in honor of the late Dr. Watson, a beloved marketing professor at St. Bonaventure University who passed away in May of 2012.

The event had 17 teams total — 12 men’s teams and 5 women’s teams. There were also many spectators who showed up to watch some competitive basketball, including the Watson family.

Leslie Watson, John’s wife, was honored at the opening ceremony of the event and expressed her gratitude.

“I want to thank you all for participating today,” she said. “And I want to thank all the students for organizing this awesome event.”

Leslie also mentioned that her husband used to have his students organize a dodge ball tournament for a class so he would be happy this event backs up his “belief of practical learning.”

Leslie and three of her children were spectators for the event, but her son “Buzz” was a participant along with Steve Watson, brother of John.

“I think this is great. It’s a lot of fun,” said Watson, who is in his 7th year as Bonaventure’s athletic director. “It’s nice to see so many teams come out to play a little basketball. It’s a good time.”

Teams were able to sign up to play for $30 which was then donated to the Chris Dudley Foundation. The foundation encourages those afflicted with diabetes to be active, and one of Watson’s sons is diabetic.

Many teams were sponsored by professors and did not have to pay the entry fee. Claire Watson (no relation to John) is a professor in the physical education department, and she sponsored a female team.

“At the end of the semester money isn’t always an option for our students,” she said. “We thankfully make a little bit here as professors so we can help to support them.”

The students running the event managed to raise close to $2,500, according to senior marketing major Alex Lewis.

After heated competition that lasted for several hours, a women’s team and a men’s team were crowned champions.

The winning women’s team was made up of senior girls, and the winning men’s team included Ed Bysiek, a professor in the business department.

“Two things that every tournament should have are good competition and good marketing/management,” Bysiek said. “This one had both of those things, and I think Dr. Watson would have appreciated that.”

The students of the group were especially pleased with how the tournament turned out after spending the majority of the semester planning and organizing it.

“I’m really pleased with how the tournament went. We worked hard all semester, and I hope we held an event that Dr. Watson would be proud of,” Lewis said. “I hope students continue to run this tournament so Dr. Watson is not forgotten.”

Steve Watson hopes the tournament continues annually as well.

“I think it should definitely be done every year. The students who ran it did a great job,” he said. “Dr. Russell was close to Dr. Watson so it would be great for his students to continue running it.”

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