3 on 3 Tourney Shoots to Educate & Unite

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Youth squads go at each other in last year's Curtis Cotton Memorial.

Cotton's RHS game jersey on display. Cotton died in a 2010 automobile wreck.
Cotton’s RHS game jersey on display. Cotton died in a 2010 automobile wreck.

By Javon Harris
With the 3rd annual Curtis Cotton 3on3 basketball tournament approaching, there is much speculation about this year’s champion. Will another underdog team emerge victorious, or will a dominant team takeover? Well to Varsity basketball Head Coach Shawn Palmer, it’s not all about winning.
The Curtis Cotton basketball tournament is based off of the 2004 graduate of Rangeview High School who was killed in a car accident off 225 & Iliff. This tragedy took place in 2010 in which Cotton was passenger in the vehicle and was unfortunately not wearing a seatbelt. Now Cotton was no ordinary person, Curtis was an All-State basketball player and was the 1st person in RHS history to be selected and play in “The Show.” (A top Colorado high school basketball player’s all-star game).
Palmer organized this simply because he “wanted to remember Curtis at his greatest moments.” Palmer said. “The proceeds or earnings will all go back to the family of Curtis and the youth organizations that he was a part of growing up.”
To put the tragedy of Cotton’s death and importance of wearing a seatbelt in an effective way to the young student athletes, the family holds an opening ceremony.  The opening ceremony is where all the participants and family members gather around to pray about life.
“It helps put things in a perspective of the young athletes that unfortunately life can be shot and to maximize opportunities,” Palmer said.
Hoping to continue the RHS basketball legacy as well as Curtis is Senior Tim Wyatt. Wyatt, who is a four-year varsity basketball player for Palmer also, said about the 3on3 tournament, “It’s a great way to memorize him through basketball. It reminds us how quickly things can be taken from somebody and to always be conscious about the choices one makes.”
Tim, like others, is set to partake in this year’s upcoming 3on3 tournament with his reigning championship team.