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gardiner basketball classic

St. James Park
Jerome Ave., East 193rd St. & Creston Ave.
Saturday, August 20, and Sunday, August 21, free, 12 noon

In a twi-ny talk last summer, Dexter Gardiner, who founded the Gardiner Memorial Basketball Classic shortly after a series of terrible losses — his twin brother, brother-in-law, niece, and two nephews were killed in a traffic accident on their way to a charity tournament honoring Dexter’s sister and mother, who had passed away earlier that year — told us, “We just started it out of tragedy, and we wanted to help other families that were suffering loss. We never dreamed that it would get this far, but here we are . . . and we’re excited about it. Each year it continues to grow.” The eleventh annual Gardiner Memorial Basketball Classic is bigger than ever, set for August 20 & 21 in St. James Park in the Bronx, featuring such match-ups as Philly vs. Lawyertime, Mississippi vs. Tha Transitions, Wrecking Crew vs. Team Flirt, and Gunhill vs. Body Snatchers. (And don’t miss Sunday’s girls game between the Nassau County All-Stars and a city team of teens.) There will also be live entertainment, special speakers, and scholarship presentations. Lawyertime is one of the event sponsors; the firm also joined up with Councilman Fernando Cabrera for a free Gardiner Foundation basketball clinic in the Bronx park on June 25. The two-day tournament is really all about the kids, who can pick up such free items as shirts, sneakers, school supplies, and even a laptop in addition to food and drink.

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