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Diamond Stackz Classic Basketball Tournament to raise money for mentor program

Event honors fallen Sumter High School basketball player

BY DANNY KELLY
danny@theitem.com
Posted 5/14/19

If you're looking to support a good cause and watch some quality basketball, you may want to consider attending the Diamond Stackz Classic Basketball Tournament, a two-day event on Friday, May 17, and Saturday, May 18, at Sumter High School.

The …

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Diamond Stackz Classic Basketball Tournament to raise money for mentor program

Event honors fallen Sumter High School basketball player

Posted

If you're looking to support a good cause and watch some quality basketball, you may want to consider attending the Diamond Stackz Classic Basketball Tournament, a two-day event on Friday, May 17, and Saturday, May 18, at Sumter High School.

The tournament, which is in honor of the late Erick White, a Sumter High basketball player who drowned at Myrtle Beach in 2015, started out as an event to raise money for White's funeral. For the past three years, the tournament has raised roughly $4,000 for the Erick R. White scholarship fund. This year, all proceeds will go toward the Diamond Effect Mentor Program.

"It's a peer mentor to help build self-efficacy," co-director of the Diamond Stackz Classic and chairman of the Diamond Effect Mentor Program Sterling Ta'Bon said. "(We want to help build) youth role models. It's a blueprint of something different that can enhance your skills as a person."

The mentor program just received official clearance from Sumter School District.

"It's not an entity of the district, but it's an outside resource students will get to use," Ta'Bon said.

Ta'Bon played varsity basketball with White at Sumter High.

"He gave his teammates a vision to build a legacy at a young age," Ta'Bon said.

The event will begin with kick-off night on Friday from 5 to 9:30 p.m. that will feature a 3-on-3 middle school tournament and a panel of guest speakers that will address the crowd at 7:30 p.m. Speakers will include Ron Tripps, a National Basketball Association skills coach; Breezy Stroud, founder of nonprofit Big Homie and Little Homie; Brandon Parker, former SHS standout basketball player who was named Peach Belt Co-Player of the Year while playing at Francis Marion this season; Kevin Bradshaw, fitness guru and former standout basketball player at Crestwood High School; and Ethan Meyers, an educator and coach who specializes in English who is originally from Sumter and now resides in Florida.

On Saturday, a 14-team basketball tournament will begin at 11 a.m. (team entry is at 9 a.m.) that will feature Division I, Division II, local, in-state and out-of-state players.

"Ja Morant played last year," Ta'Bon said.

There will also be a women's all-star game and guest speakers throughout the day that will include local pastors and community leaders, as well as some speakers from the Friday night event.

Tickets for Friday's and Saturday's events are $5 per day, or patrons can purchase a weekend pass for $8. The event will also have concessions and a DJ.

Ta'Bon hopes the event will not only raise money for a great cause, but also unite the Sumter community.

"The future won't be a place we just walk into," he said. "It will be a place we create together."

For more information, visit www.diamondstackz.com or call Ta'Bon at (803) 983-5838.