The second annual “LLJ 3x3” basketball tournament is scheduled for April 12 and will serve as a remembrance to a Byron Nelson player.
“Live Like Josh,” or LLJ, is a tribute to Josh Hernandez, who died in a one-car accident on April 14, 2012. Josh was a member of the Byron Nelson basketball varsity squad who was involved in the accident along with his twin brother, Jessie, after returning from a Nelson regional soccer game in Wichita Falls. Jessie survived the crash.
Now the 3-on-3 basketball tournament will not only serve as a memorial event to Hernandez’s favorite sport, but will also raise money for the Josh Hernandez Foundation.
The tournament has already outgrown the outdoor courts in Trophy Club and has now moved to Byron Nelson High School’s gymnasiums.
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Last year’s tournament boasted 38 teams.
“Josh was a model student,” said tournament organizer Thomas Poling. “Josh’s love of basketball is one reason we’re using the tournament to generate proceeds for scholarships. A scholarship will be awarded to a basketball player in Josh’s name,” Poling said.
Poling is a former high school and club team coach for Higher Goals.
Some of the proceeds will also go to Church Bara, a church which uses the Byron Nelson facility and where a memorial service will be held, Poling said.
In addition to the tournament, the “Live Like Josh” theme will be personally explained by Jessie Hernandez. He will visit Medlin Middle School, Byron Nelson and Tidwell Middle School to talk about the qualities and characteristics of his brother and how his vision of living life was exemplified in his actions and thoughts.
Each player in the tournament will receive LLJ T-shirts, said Poling. “The kids will get to find out why they’re wearing those shirts,” he explained, and noted Josh was an active member of his church and was an advocate against bullying at school.
The tournament is open to both male and female teams and all ages. Last year, Poling said the tournament boasted teams over age 35 and players as young as third and fourth graders.
Those interested in competing in the 3-on-3 tournament can register online at www.leaguelineup.com/live_like_josh. Cost per team is $60. To reach Poling for other information, call 817-688-3934.