The Future Firebirds Basketball Club is hosting a memorial basketball tournament in honor of Joey Sharpe, a fourth-grader at JFK Elementary School who passed away five years ago. Sharpe was the younger brother of Fairmont High School senior Jenny Sharpe and the cousin of Greenmont teacher Emily Tierney.
The tournament began Friday, March 9, 2012, and will continue Saturday, March 10, from 9 a.m. to approximately 3 p.m. The final tournament games will begin on Sunday, March 11, at 9 a.m. and continue until 3 p.m. The Sharpe family will hand out awards after each section has its championship game.
The $5 tickets and all proceeds will go to support the Joey Sharpe Scholarship fund, which goes to a Fairmont student who shows “heart” to his or her teammates and fellow students.
Teams from across the area from grades 4 through 6 are participating in the tournament. Fourth-graders will play in Fairmont’s small gym, fifth-graders will play in the main gym, and sixth-graders will play in Trent Arena, where the final championship will be held.
The Sharpe family began teaming up with the Future Firebirds Basketball club four years ago to honor Joey, who passed away in 2007 in the middle of his basketball season.
“He always loved to play outside and was one of the most active kids,” said Jenny Sharpe, who will be helping with the tournament. Sharpe says the support for the tournament grows every year and that more people are coming this year than in the past.
“He would love watching every second of it and knowing that people are playing basketball, doing what they love, even if he isn’t able to,” said Sharpe.