Basketball tournament to benefit mom of murdered Buchanan man
Published 10:38 am Wednesday, February 6, 2019
BUCHANAN — Before his life was cut short, Avery Christopher Brown, was known for his love of basketball. His friends, family and the many local youths who looked up to him could typically find him shooting hoops at Victory Park and cracking jokes to those within earshot.
It is these qualities that Jeff Kyles, of Niles, said he hopes to bring to mind during a basketball tournament in Brown’s honor.
“It will be more than just basketball,” said Kyles, the event organizer. “It is a big positive event to bring people together.”
The Avery Brown Classic 3 on 3 tournament will take place from 8 a.m. to 7 p.m. Saturday, Feb. 23, at Buchanan High School, 401 West Chicago St. In addition to watching a basketball tournament, those who attend can participate in raffles and enjoy music and food sponsored by Curly Q’s BBQ.
The winning team will be awarded trophies that have been modeled after Brown’s high school basketball jersey. Tickets are $10 for people 10 and up; $5 for those 5 to 10 and free for children under 5. Discounted tickets are available by searching for Avery Brown and Event Brite. Proceeds from the event will help to support Brown’s mom, Linda Brown.
When Kyles shared the event on social media, it got an immediate outpouring of support. The number of teams competing in the tournament quickly reached capacity.
“I expected it,” Kyles said. “I did because even at the funeral and candlelight vigil you could tell there was overwhelming support for him.”
Brown, 28, grew up in Buchanan and was a Buchanan High School graduate. Around 2 a.m. Sept. 21, 2018, Brown was fatally shot inside Bleacher’s “The Bar” in Mishawaka. In December, Timothy Marcus Mayberry, 33, was arrested and charged with Brown’s murder.
This Feb. 24, would have been Brown’s 29th birthday, which is why Kyles said it was an ideal time to host the tournament in his honor and show support to Brown’s mother.
During her son’s vigil, outside of Bleacher’s in September, Linda was the one walking around and consoling those stricken with grief, Kyles said. Now, he said it is the community’s turn to show her some support.
For her part, Linda said she sees the event as a way to remember her son.
“Avery was a legend,” Linda said, her voice wavering with emotion. “He loved people and everybody loved him, so this is a good way to honor him. He loved the game of basketball.”
Kyles grew up in the same Buchanan neighborhood as Brown. They played basketball together and were both students at Buchanan High School. Kyles described Brown as loyal and proud Buchanan resident.
“He was a brother to his little cousins,” Kyles said. “He always took care of them, always picked them up. He was always so positive, always smiling.”
Linda said she hopes to see the tournament become a yearly tradition. Next year, she said she wants funds to be raised for a scholarship to donate in Brown’s name.
Kyles said he looks forward to seeing people come together to enjoy basketball, just like Brown would have wanted.
“A lot of this matches perfectly with him. It’s about basketball and laughing and having fun,” Kyles said. “That’s Avery.”
To buy tickets, visit eventbrite.com and search “Avery Brown Classic.”