In the weeks following Jay’s passing, his former coach Brad Matsugu felt like he needed to do something. As powerless as he was to help Jay overcome his battle, Brad felt the need to do something within his power to help remember his former player. During practice, Jay could be found playing against his teammates in any assortment of games. 1 on 1, 2 on 2, HORSE. He also loved to shoot the ball and was constantly the team’s leader in 3 pointers. He then thought, what better way to memorialize his former player than a basketball tournament named in his honour. From the creative mind of a parent, the tournament was given life with the name of the Kumar Classic.
In a short time, the basketball community came together to support the cause. In about a month’s time, prizes, teams, and sponsors came pouring in to help commemorate Jay. Over 35 teams registered with both boys and girls ages 10 up to 19 made their way to the KW Region for the inaugural Kumar Classic. The tournament welcomed over 250 players, spectators and volunteers from all over the province. Players and their families came from Kitchener, Waterloo, Cambridge, Brantford, Burlington, Toronto, Hamilton and Guelph to participate in a full day of activities. Men and Women varsity basketball players came from both the University of Waterloo and Wilfrid Laurier University to play, showcase their talents and provide some advice to our young players. Over 40 players, parents and families volunteered their day to help with activities ranging from concessions, court monitoring, setup/tear down and many more. Volunteers could be seen proudly wearing their volunteer shirt getting requests on where others could get their own tshirt.
In each team’s package, each player received a silicone bracelet. JK15 represented Jay Kumar (JK) and the number he wore in his last season (15). #JK15 was used throughout the day to honour his memory. The 2014 U13 Vipers team faced an extremely challenging year in the ABS league, facing 15 of the top 16 teams in Ontario (all Division 1). The team was tasked with a motto of “Never Give Up” and Jay took that to heart. On the court, regardless of the score, Jay never quit playing. Off the court, Jay was determined to stay strong and not give up in his battle against cancer. For these reasons, on the reverse side of the band “Never Give Up” has been inscribed
The 3v3Kumar Classic basketball tournament brings together fun, community and charity to raise awareness of Brain Tumour in Canada and also make sports more accessible to children in the KW region. In our first year, we were able to raise more than $4,000 for the Brain Tumour Foundation of Canada and the Jay Kumar Memorial Scholarship.
We strive every year to make the tournament bigger and better than the year previously, all in Jay’s honour.
By participating in the 3v3 Kumar Classic, you are supporting two causes:
Brain Tumour Foundation of Canada
Every day 27 Canadians are diagnosed with a brain tumour. There is no cure. Brain tumours are unpredictable and complex. They can affect vision, hearing, memory, balance and mobility. Their effects are physical, emotional, financial, and last a lifetime.
The Brain Tumour Foundation of Canada raises funds to lead research into the cause of and cure for this devastating disease. We also provide vital programs for the brain tumour community, including Support Groups and Information Day Conferences, and resources like the Brain Tumour Handbooks and Information Sheets.
Jay Kumar Memorial Scholarship
Jay loved to play the game of basketball and was fortunate to be able to financially afford the cost of the sport. Unfortunately, this is not the case for all kids who also love the game of basketball. The Jay Kumar Memorial Scholarship was established to help overcome the financial barriers that exist in families that prevent a child from having the opportunity to participate in organized sport and experience the benefits of active living. This is accomplished by providing financial support for registration fees and/or equipment that go directly to families, making the sport more accessible.
2016 – Hanani Ujullu
2015 – Goanaer Kang