ROCKINGHAM — The memory of a former Richmond Senior High School basketball player lived on during a charity event on Saturday.
The second “Jay’s Jamboree” was held in honor of Jalen David, who passed away in August 2020. David was a junior student-athlete and a multi-year member of the basketball program when he passed.
Established last year by the school, with teacher Arthur Gilliam spearheading the efforts, Jay’s Jamboree raised money for the Jalen A. David Scholarship Foundation.
The total amount raised this year wasn’t known at the time of publication, but community members donated money upon entry and a 50-50 raffle was also held.
Winning the 50-50 and donating the funds back to the scholarship was Krystal Williams, David’s mother.
“I love it, it helps me keep going,” Williams said of the event and community support. “This is what helps make day-to-day life easier for me. I’m so excited, I’m glad everybody came out tonight and had a good time.
“This helps keep Jalen’s memory alive. People came here for him and that means a lot. If he were here, he would love it. He really loved basketball and that’s why I still come to the games. I gained a lot of sons when I lost him.”
The Jalen A. David Scholarship Foundation is awarded to a Richmond student who has at least a 2.5 GPA and plans to attend a two or four-year college or university. This year’s winner will be announced at the Academic Awards Banquet later this spring.
The highlight of the evening for the hundreds of spectators was a pair of player-alumni games, officiated by boys’ head coach Donald Pettigrew.
Richmond’s varsity girls’ and boys’ teams squared off against former players in games that featured two 20-minute halves with a running clock.
In the girls’ game, it was the alumni team that earned a 34-33 win. The winning shot came on a putback with 1:01 left in the game.
A higher-scoring affair, the boys’ varsity team edged the Raider alumni 114-105. At halftime, the Raiders held a 50-46 advantage.
“It’s amazing. Jalen was special to us and he was a big part of helping build the program,” Pettigrew said. “It’s always great to raise money for the scholarship and for our guys to come and support it.
“Having the alumni guys here was also great because we always talk about being a family and that shows the character of all of them.”
At halftime during the boys’ game, the Raider basketball team was also recognized for its historical 2022-23 season.
Players were given custom towels, t-shirts and basketballs, presented by members of Muzic Inc., a local non-profit.
Other sponsors that helped with the gear were Y&C Printing Services, Libby Lee Transport, Ace Garbage LLC, Kingdom Institute FWB Church, Tinikianni Baldwin, Kelicia David, Francine Wall and Ryan Norton-Smith.
“We want to keep doing this for Jalen because he’s never forgotten,” Pettigrew shared. “This is something we do to remember his name.
“Arthur Gilliam does a heck of a job putting this together and without him this wouldn’t be possible. I appreciate that so much.”
Below are photos of Saturday’s games, taken by sports editor Kyle Pillar. Photos also contributed by Jordyn Pillar.
Editor’s Note: Sports editor Kyle Pillar participated in the boys’ basketball game.