Anti-violence nonprofit, basketball league join forces to make Wareham kids all-stars
A new basketball tournament brought two youth-oriented groups together on Saturday to make all-stars of roughly 200 kids.
The first ever Scotty Monteiro Jr. Foundation All-Star Day was held inside Wareham Middle School. The event took place from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. instead of regularly scheduled Wareham Junior Basketball Association games.
The nonprofit foundation, launched after the 2009 shooting death of 21-year-old Scotty Monteiro Jr. of Wareham, supports anti-violence education. The association offers kids in kindergarten through eighth grade the opportunity to learn basketball fundamentals and hone their skills.
Ken Fontes, who has been involved with the association for nearly 40 years, said the all-star games were brought back after a 10-year hiatus – but this time with a twist.
“We used to have coaches pick three kids to play in the tournament,” said Fontes. “I thought: ‘That doesn’t work because all of our kids are all-stars. Let’s have them all play.’”
Kids said they were excited to be part of the games, including Chance Andrews. He is one of the association’s Mighty Mites and part of the youngest group of players.
“Today was one of the best days ever because we got 10 points,” said Chance after a fast-paced match. “And that’s what made it one of the best ever.”
The all-star idea originated with association officials. They then approached Wendy Monteiro, Scotty’s aunt and godmother.
Partnering would help the foundation spread its anti-violence message during the all-star day, said Fontes. Monteiro agreed, saying she looks forward to making it an annual event.
“We’re happy to support a great cause like the Junior Basketball Association because it teaches the importance of skills like working together,” she said.
The foundation helped raise funds for the association by donating proceeds from merchandise it sold during the day. At the end of each game, Monteiro thanked the players and gave each one a bag filled with goodies on the foundation's behalf.
Monteiro said she appreciated everything the association does for Wareham youth. In fact, Scotty played for an association team as a kid, she noted.
“They do such a wonderful job, teaching kids about teamwork and helping them to become good kids like Scotty was,” she said.
For more information on the Scotty Monteiro Jr. Foundation, visit www.scottymonteirojrfoundation.org.