All coaches talk about sport and how it is the path to greater things.
Coaches talk about all the great opportunities that can come from the game, and all the transferable skills and life lessons athletes obtain through sport.
Well sometimes those life lessons come in a hard dose of reality through the loss of people very close to us. Alex McLaughlin, a soon to be graduating student at Acadia University and former varsity basketball player took his own life on April 17, 2014 in a state of depression.
Alex’s family who is woven into the fabric of basketball in Nova Scotia have combined their love for the game and their love for Alex to create a very prestigious basketball event. They are hosting the 1st Annual Alex McLaughlin Memorial Tournament August 15-17 in support of Communities Addressing Suicide Together (CAST).
Alex’s brother Mark who was a star varsity player at SMU puts his family’s determination to words,
“My family has come together and mutually decided that nobody is ashamed of Alex, and we all loved him his entire life and he did the same to us. We are bothered by the fact that he lived through a time when we as society push away and hide from depression and more specifically suicide.”
“Putting this incredible basketball tournament on in his memory and openly speaking about the topic of suicide is in all of our best interests because of how many people are dealing with depression and suicidal thoughts”.
With the unbelievable support of the basketball community, local Halifax business community and major sport teams like the Raptors and Blue Jays the McLauglin family has made depression and suicide a front line issue and “The Game” again is teaching valuable life lessons.
This lesson is to pay attention to your loved ones and those that are under your close guidance. Learn the signs of depression and be a friend and help as well as ask for help if it is you that are depressed. Know that many people love you dearly and will help with anything that is needed.
On the court this will be THE BEST basketball tournament established on the east coast in a very long time. With 8 teams on both the men’s and women’s sides there will be non-stop action at King’s College and Studley Gym. The level of talent is huge with a majority of player’s presently competing or previously competing in CIS, CCAA and NBL of Canada.
“We wanted to honour Alex by bringing as talented and competitive tournament as we possibly could, and we have really succeeded.”
This AMMBT will be extraordinary as these athletes compete with a passion for the game and love for Alex as well as the strength of the McLaughlin family. It can be assured that the high level athletes competing will display a level of passion and respect that will be unmatched at any other basketball event. If you are a hoops fan and on the east coast, you will be there.
Coaches– remember the days of the coaching theory courses when they talked about transitioning athletes through phases. It is important and essential to the health of our young athletes that this is managed properly to ensure we all keep the people we love close to us in body and in spirit. Let “The Game” continue to guide us to a greater life.