Basketball Tournament Plays on for Taurean Spears

E4T Basketball Tournament supporters, Cooper Park Houses resident council are joined by NYS Senator Julia Salazar and NYS Assembly Member Emily Gallagher

The 3rd annual E4T Memorial Basketball Tournament played at the Cooper Park basketball courts on May 21 and 22.  E4T is and abbreviation for: Everything for Taurean.  Taurean Spears mentored youth at Cooper Park Houses’ community center.  “He played basketball and spoke with the youth to keep them from doing wrong things.  Taurean was a big brother to many of the youths.  Education was very important to Taurean and family time,” said Debra Benders, president of Cooper Park Houses residents’ council.

For 2015’s Participatory Budgeting vote Spears helped with the campaign for a much-needed gym floor renovation, and this project won funding that year.   “Taurean passed from a heart attack on the very courts he faithfully mentored many and spent many hours playing basketball. The basketball courts are a safe haven to our youth and a place where they remember encouraging conversations with Taurean.” said Benders. 

This year the tournament also memorialized Shavar Richardson. He passed away on October 18, 2021.

Staff of the E4T Basketball Tournament honored Debra Benders (2nd from left) for her work in the community

Debra Benders received a plaque of recognition from the staff of the E4T Basketball Tournament this year.  The award stated, “to a woman who is phenomenal in every way, her dedication and her commitment to improving the community is something that will never go unnoticed.”

Author: Lori Ann Doyon

Managing editor, head writer, and lead photographer of Greenline | North Brooklyn News since October 2014. Resident of Williamsburg, Brooklyn since 1990.

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