THE BRONX - A basketball tournament that funds scholarships grew out of tragedy after a man lost six of his relatives in a car crash nine years ago.
The annual Gardiner Memorial Basketball Classic was held at St. James Park in the Bronx over the weekend. Dexter Gardiner started the Gardiner Foundation and the basketball tournament to honor his relatives. "Right now, this is my healing," said Gardiner.
"A tragedy like this, no one should go through alone," said volunteer Deborah Hunter. "I'm just thankful that he opened up his heart," she said, referring to Gardiner's loss.
Gardiner rebuilt his life and, in the process, has been working to change the lives of others. This includes giving scholarships to students.
"It's hard to describe the feeling because this foundation is something different," said scholarship recipient Dority Mensah. "This is the first time we've been involved in something like this, and it's nice knowing that they do this for the community."
Five students will receive scholarships.
The six members of the Gardiner family were killed in 2006 in an accident on the Bronx River Parkway. The family members were on their way to a basketball game.