On January 20, the day this nation celebrates the Martin Luther King, Jr., holiday, Jim Salmon, head coach of the Playaz AAU basketball team, will be putting on a great basketball tournament called the "Freedom Fighters Hoop Challenge" to benefit two worthy charities.
On August 19, 2001, James "Flea" Watson, a graduate from Paterson (N.J.) Catholic, was hours away from departing for this first year of college at Clark in Atlanta. James was hit by a drunk driver and remains in a coma. Our prayers and thoughts go out to Watson and his family.
Salmon has put this event together to help raise funds for Watson and his family. One can only imagine what the costs are with doctors, hospital stay and support. In the first game, Salmon has invited the Paterson Eastside girls team to play a traditional powerhouse, Christ the King at 4 p.m.
At 5:45 p.m., Don Bosco Prep will challenge Bloomfield Tech. And at 7:30 PM, Paterson Catholic, led by center Darryl Watkins, RivalsHoops.com's No. 78 player in the class of 2003, will challenge Lincoln High School. Lincoln is led by Sebastian Telfair, rated the 11th best player in the 2004 class by RivalsHoops.com.
The $10 admission will be donated to the above charity, as well as The Frederick H. LaGarde Academy, which is the first black-owned and -operated private school in Passaic County. Kennedy High School is located at 62 Totowa Avenue in Paterson if you are interested in attending