Tournament brings community together at Veteran’s Field

The fourth annual Stop the Violence three on three basketball tournament was held Saturday at Veteran’s field in Amsterdam. The event was organized by the Wishful Thinking Foundation and according to  co-founder John Sumpter, drew approximately 75 teams from locations all over NY State.  The event also featured a slam dunk contest.

“The turn out is great,” said Sumpter, “It’s a beautiful day in Amsterdam. It’s a great day for the community. We’re able to come together and show people how we do things out here.”

The event has been held annually in memory of Amsterdam residents Paul Damphier and Jonathan DeJesus who were murdered in July 2012 by two other teens. During a break in the tournament, the crowd gathered around portraits of Damphier and DeJesus and observed a moment of silence followed by a balloon release.

Sumpter said the event was also about calling attention to the problem of violence no matter where it happens. “Everybody out here is a family member,” said Sumpter, “and with ‘wishful thinking’ we can make great things happen in Amsterdam.”

Tim Becker

Tim Becker is the owner of Anthem Websites Inc. which publishes The Compass. He serves as both editor and a writer.