With all due respect to the legendary playground basketball battles of New York City and basketball by the beach in Los Angeles (think Venice Beach courts), you would be hard pressed to find a city with more basketball catchet and tradition than our very own Sweet Home Chicago. Brandox Cox certainly appreciates the legacy of Chicago-area basketball, and he’s using the Second City’s incredible hoops tradition to benefit others.

On Saturday, September 14 at the St. Catherine Church gymnasium (27 N. Austin) in Oak Park, the Brandon Cox BLC Live Life Cancer Foundation charity basketball game will be held, bringing numerous Chicago basketball legends back on the court all in the name of charity of fellowship within the Oak Park and Austin communities. The game tips off at 5 p.m. and is free to the public.

Organized by Brandon Cox, a former Austin High School and Kennedy King College basketball star, the game will feature a plethora of former Chicago hoops stars in action including Ronnie Fields (Farragut High School), Imari Sawyer (King High School/De Paul University) Paul McPherson (De Paul/Phoenix Suns), Steven Hunter (Proviso East High School/played for five NBA teams) Randy Holcomb (Lincoln Park High School/Chicago Bulls) David Bailey (Westinghouse High School), Awvee Storey (Proviso West High School/Arizona State University), Jamaal Brown (Westinghouse High School/Oklahoma State University), Chris Jones (Austin High School/Reinhardt College), Michael Cox (Brandon’s brother) and Jelani Floyd (Whitney Young High School/Florida Atlantic).

“Cancer is taking people away from this world in so many different ways,” says Cox, who is still visible in the Austin community. “I’m basically using basketball as a tool to reach out to people.”

Former Chicago Bulls player Marcus Fizer, a close friend of Cox, is also scheduled to fly in from Las Vegas to participate in the game.

The game is being played to support the fight against cancer, and free clothes will also be given on site to the homeless, sponsored by Cox’s mother, Karla Cox-Naptali and her ministry (Hands of Hope for You). DJ Ransom will also keep the music pumping during all the festivities.

Cox believes this year’s game is just the start of an annual celebration which hopefully in the future will include a dinner, auction and, of course, plenty of serious hoops with the intenion of helping people.

“I’m planning to have this every year. It will be part of the Brandon Cox weekend, which I’ll have a dinner on Saturday with an auction and on Sunday will be the game,” says Cox. “I know next year, I won’t be able to have it at St. Catherine. I plan on having it at UIC or somewhere [bigger].”

On a personal level, I want to give a shout out to Brandon, who has done a wonderful job organzing and promoting this upcoming charity basketball game. For hard core hoops fans, families, friends, children or people who just want to come out and have fun by taking in plenty of basketball, music and fellowship, this game promises to be electrifying and entertaining as Ronnie Fields finshing off a fast break dunk!

Cox is encouraging everyone to donate, at the minimum, five dollars to www.stjude.org

Those wanting to offer their service to volunteer can e-mail daonetwo34@gmail.com

#13 Johnny Westmorland
#2 Devonte Carr
#50 Jabbar Battle
#4 Terrence Pouncy
#0 Ken Deer
#23 Ronnie Fields
#1 Alan Brown
#58 Juice Henry
#10 Jamaal Brown
#30 Armond Williams
#3 Reggie Brown
#6 Randy Holcomb

#34 Brandon Cox
#6 Khalif Houston
#9 Nate Henry
#10 Michael Cox
#23 Paul McPherson
#12 David Bailey
#30 Jelani Floyd
#8 Pierre Carr
#18 Dominique Perry
#22 Dad Butch
#15 Imari Sawyer
#33 Chris Jones

Contributing: Chris Cason

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Marty Farmer

The Illinois Press Association recently honored Marty with the 1st & 2nd Place Awards for Best Sports Feature for his article He's in an Oak Park state of mind: Former OPRF star Iman Shumpert returns...