EL PASO, Texas (KTSM) – Four years after Cliff Tucker Jr. and three others died in a tragic car wreck, the legacy of one of El Paso’s greatest basketball and football players lives on.
Later this month, for the fourth year in a row, the Cliff Tucker Jr. Foundation will host the Cliff Tucker Jr. Memorial Basketball Tournament July 29-31 at Chapin High School.
Tournament proceeds go towards the Foundation, which raises money for scholarships for students in northeast El Paso. In addition to the basketball tournament, there is also a Gala on July 29 at Fort Bliss. Tickets are still available for $50, with the money also going towards the scholarship fund.
In year four of the tournament, its directors are ecstatic to see how it’s grown, from the amount of teams that play in it from all over the country, to the number of fans that pack Chapin’s gym to watch it.
“They’re just bringing new faces to grow the cause and the purpose of why we’re doing it. It’s amazing to see because it’s a great cause and people are excited to come out,” said tournament director Samantha Stukes.
The Foundation has expanded beyond just an adult tournament. They held the first Cliff Tucker Jr. Youth Tournament in May and have hopes of holding flag football and golf tournaments in the future.
It’s all in the name of Tucker; those involved in the Foundation are all friends, family, or former teachers of his and are excited to see its growth and how it’s helped students in the northeast.
“Being that the northeast gets a bad rap from other parts of town, we want to change that narrative and give kids an opportunity who may not necessarily be awarded an athletic scholarship,” said the Foundation’s marketing director, David Moore. “It doesn’t have to be at a university, it can be at a community college or a trade school, just anywhere that will help them further their education.”
The scholarship fund is currently only for a football and basketball player at Chapin and a basketball player at Andress, but as the Foundation grows, they hope to expand it to help other students in El Paso.