SPRINGFIELD, Mass. (WWLP) – A basketball tournament in Springfield this weekend will honor the victims of violence in the city.
The tournament has been going on for years to bring the community together. But when the games started Friday night, organizers made ending violence a focus of the event and shed light on the lives that have been lost. Tuesday night, 19-year-old Isaiah Ramos was shot and killed near the intersection of Liberty and Genesee streets in Springfield.
“He was a funny kid,” said Norberto Ramos, Isaiah’s father. “Everybody loved him out here, everybody is here for him. Playful, no gang related stuff no nothing. He was just a good kid.”
Isaiah’s dad said he’s tired of the violence.
This annual basketball tournament has been turned into an event to “stop the violence” and pay tribute to those who have lost their lives in the city.
“I know I can’t change everything and prevent all the violence, but if we can save a couple people, one or two, I feel like I did my job,” Isaiah’s father said.
Isaiah’s family and community members are hoping to plan more events like this one to give kids a place to go. Twenty-year-old Edwin Hernandez was arrested for Isaiah’s murder.
Isaiah’s aunt said whether you have to bury a son, or see them behind bars, it breaks families apart.
“I think we can all be together and come on the same page and figure out what we can do for these young teenagers,” said Eric Rodriguez, tournament organizer. “At the end of the day, we lost two lives. We lost my nephew, Isaiah Ramos, and that family lost their son too, because he is not going to be able to be out here and enjoy life and be free.”
The games will continue Saturday and Sunday at Calhoun Park.