A tournament to remember

Samantha Rosen, Editor-In-Chief

Leaving a hole in many hearts after his death in 2009, Alexander Standiford’s memory continues to live on throughout his Pinecrest community. Better known as Zander, Z, or No. 33 on the Palmetto High School basketball court, “3’s For Z,” an annual three-point basketball-shooting contest, honors Standiford’s memory. This year, 3’s for Z will team up with the annual Miracle Games 3 on 3 Basketball tournament on Saturday, February 21, at 10:30 in the Palmetto Senior High School Gym.

“It’s kind of a miracle how this all came together,” Kimberly Standiford, Zander’s mother, said. “The joining of forces between 3’s for Z and the Miracle Games is going to create a really beautiful event for friends and family. It will be held at the place Zander loved most, on the basketball court.”

The Miracle Games, a fundraiser run by sophomores Jayden Hardaway, Matthew Hellinger and Jonathan Roth, along with 3’s for Z, fundraise to support the Transplant Foundation, a nonprofit organization and the preeminent public transplant organization in Florida. All money collected goes toward “providing assistance for transplant patients and their families, educating the public on organ and tissue donation, and funding transplant research,” according to the Transplant Foundation.

“It’s been a very rewarding experience for us,” Roth said. “Giving back to the community is something we’re passionate about because we all come from very fortunate backgrounds, so it’s been great to see that we can have an impact on those less fortunate than us.”

The event begins with a 3 on 3 tournament and continues at 12:30 pm with a 3-point shootout contest. Each tournament has a $10 participation fee. Open to anyone and everyone, people can sign up as singles, pairs or teams and can be placed on a team if needed. All participants and volunteers will receive a t-shirt and community service hours. In addition, raffle tickets will be sold. Prizes include gift cards from community businesses, such as Town, Shake Shack and BJ’s Brewhouse, along with items signed by NBA stars, Penny Hardaway and Tim Hardaway Jr. The winners of the event will receive basketballs signed by Tim Hardaway Jr.

     “Everyone can look forward to some fun, competitive games,” Jayden Hardaway said. “The addition of the 3’s for Z will be fun for everybody. I am most excited for the championship game, the raffle, and to see who wins what prizes. This event keeps Jon, Matt and I close, and reminds us that we need to always take a moment to give back.”

Both players and volunteers are needed. Visit www.miraclegamesand3sforz.com to register for the event or to make a donation. Contact Roth at 305-951-1919, Hellinger at 305-322-9282, or Jayden Hardaway at 786-385-9112 for more information.

“We’re looking forward to seeing 3’s for Z contribute to our successful foundation that we’ve built,” Roth and Hellinger said. “Everyone should be looking forward to a great event and having fun while contributing to an amazing time.”


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