Evans, Ga. (WJBF) — Second-graders ran up and down the basketball court Friday night during a tournament at Riverside Middle School. A couple years ago, Eric Smalls played on the same United Elite basketball team that is now playing in his honor.
Last June, the nine-year-old tragically passed away in a car accident on River Watch Parkway. Smalls’ second and third grade basketball coach, Corey Warren, felt compelled to start a basketball tournament in Smalls’ name.
“I wanted to add to his memory,” Warren said, fighting back tears. “I wanted his memory to travel. To travel with a high school senior who’s going off to play college basketball. Someone that Eric — could have still lived through.”
All the participation fees from the tournament will be donated to the Eric Smalls’ Memorial Scholarship, which was awarded for the first time Thursday night.
The Eric Smalls Memorial basketball tournament continues through Sunday and Coach Warren hopes to make it an annual event.