Jayant (Jay) Kumar was born on Thursday, January 25th, 2001 to his dad Himanshu and mom Madhavi.
Jay was considered the “glue” of the family as he had an incredible relationship will all of his family members. Younger siblings, older cousins, younger cousins, older uncles, aunts and grandparents, Jay made sure everyone was involved. He could be found initiating family sleepover with cousins and planning trips to the grandparents. Jay was wise beyond his years with a fun loving attitude. Jay’s Uncle, Sharad Singh, describes him as “a perfect son, a precious grandson, an awesome brother, an amazing nephew, an incredible cousin, a loyal friend and a beautiful person.”
As Jay grew older, he become passionate about the game of basketball. His passion and pure talent started to come through as he developed his skills. As a member of the KW Vipers throughout his short career (Novice – Bantam), he was the team’s leader and top player. In the Spring/Summer of 2013, he was part of the Ontario Basketball Association’s U12 Talent Identification & Development Program for the Tri-County region. Jay was then selected to participate in the U12 TIDP Mega camps as as one of the top 20 boys in the U12 program and was selected to represent the KW Vipers one of the top 10 players in the area.
Along with being named one of Ontario’s best basketball players in his age group, Jay was also one of the top students at his school. Jay academic journey took him through Forrest Hill and then Laurentian Public School.
Jay was not only an outstanding player, he was liked and respected by all who knew him.
“If I could have anyone as a brother it would be him,” Jay’s classmate at Laurentian and his Vipers teammate Marcus Umana .
Brad Matsugu, Jay’s coach with the Vipers for the 2013/2014 season, said he remembers a fun-loving kid who made everyone around him smile. “Jay was so well-behaved. He knew how to have fun and he knew when it was time to listen. It was great to have him on our team.”
Midway through the 2013/2014 basketball season, Jay started to feel unwell and noticed something wasn’t quite right. After suffering headaches, dizziness and fatigue, Jay was diagnosed with Diffuse Intrinsic Pontine Glioma, an extremely rare condition. The disease affects the brain stem and usually occurs in children aged five to 10. Even though Jay was not feeling 100%, he battled through the symptoms and travelled to Kingston, Ontario to support his teammates as they played in their season’s final tournament, the Ontario Cup.
Nine days after being diagnosed, Jay Kumar passed away on Friday, May 9th, 2014 surrounded by his family.
In the days and weeks after his passing, the Kitchener Waterloo community came together with an outpouring of support for Jay and his family. Jay’s school put on a number of events to commemorate him. Students decorated his locker with pictures and notes of remembrance. The Laurentian Lancers Basketball team held a memorial game played in Jay’s honour, the school held a tree planting ceremony for Jay and shortly thereafter the 3v3KumarClassic was born.
Read more about the 3v3KumarClassic here.
See more pictures of Jay here.
With a very heavy heart we must bid farewell to a very special boy. With his infectious smile and contagious laugh he brought so much joy to everyone he met. A perfect son, a precious grandson, an awesome brother, an amazing nephew, an incredible cousin, a loyal friend, a beautiful person, never could we have asked for any more. Always to be loved and never to be forgotten, we pray you are in a better place now. You will be in our hearts forever and we know you will watch over us. Until we meet again……