HARWICH ─ In the family that is Cape Cod basketball, Jordan Fisher was not only well known, but also beloved, not only for his love of the game, but for his infectious grin and a friendly personality that won him much respect. This weekend, Fisher, who tragically lost his life in a car accident in October, will be honored in the first Jordan Fisher Memorial Basketball Tournament, happening Saturday at the community center.
The event was organized by Fisher's longtime friend and former teammate Logan Desouza, and his cousin and best friend, Dawn Lopes, each of whom remember Fisher fondly, particularly his immense passion for playing hoops.
“He loved it,” said Lopes, who noted that Fisher eagerly recruited others to the game. “He was the type of kid who welcomed everybody. He didn't just effect high school kids. He was involved with younger kids, too, whether they were playing at the (Harwich) Rec or the high school, or the [Hyannis Youth and Community Center] too.”
According to multiple sources, including Lopes and Desouza, his love of basketball was such that Fisher delighted in playing just about anywhere. He was a fixture in the local basketball community, playing in numerous leagues in Harwich and Hyannis, and then for the Harwich Rough Riders once in high school and the Monomoy Sharks after regionalization.
Given Fisher's enthusiasm for the sport, creating a tournament in his name just made sense, said Desouza, a 2015 graduate of Monomoy Regional High School.
“We just knew that this was something he would want, and it's basketball, which he loved, so what better than to have a basketball tourney for him?” Desouza said.
The event will benefit the newly created Jordan Fisher Scholarship Foundation, which was established through the Cape Cod Five Cents Savings Bank by Fisher's family. The hope is to create a scholarship that will benefit two Monomoy students with a similar passion for basketball as they move on from high school into a successful future.
“His parents want to give back to another kid who could benefit, so that's why we decided to do the scholarship and thought it would be perfect to keep his name and his spirit living,” said Lopes. “Every year they'll donate to two kids from Monomoy.”
Lopes said the exact criteria for the scholarship is still being worked out, but it will be aimed at helping students move forward in life after graduation. While academics will play a role, basketball will be a primary focus of the scholarship since it is through the sport that many people knew Fisher best.
“I've been playing basketball with Jordan my whole life,” said Desouza. “Everyone who plays basketball knows Jordan. He was always playing basketball. It was always fun to play with Jordan. He was always fun when he was playing. It could have been a serious game, but he was always just having fun and getting everyone involved. He was a great player. It was awesome to watch him play.”
Fisher's impact on the basketball community he was such an integral part of has been seen, said Lopes, in how the community has rallied around Fisher's mother, Charlene. When the time came to set up her Christmas decorations, which fill the front yard of her Harwich home, members of various programs came to assist. They've also been stopping by just to visit and check in. Lopes said Charlene is looking forward to the tournament.
“She's into it, just to see everybody there,” Lopes said.
The tournament begins at 2 p.m. and will feature 10 teams in a round robin single elimination format. The winning team will receive a championship trophy and a specially selected player will receive an MVP award. To further enhance the event, Monomoy graduate Drew Senatore will serve as deejay, and along with food and other goods for sale, there will be a raffle that will include a pair of cherished shoes from Fisher's extensive collection. Desouza said nearly 400 tickets ($5 apiece) have been sold so far, and more will be available at the door. For those unable to make it, donations to the scholarship can be made at any Cape Cod Five branch.
Desouza and Lopes are hoping the event becomes annual. It's one of several ways the basketball community is looking to honor its late friend. Another tournament, organized by former Monomoy boys basketball coach Adam Rose, is slated for the summer, and plans are in the works to retire Fisher's number (23) from the Monomoy program, along with adding some type of memorabilia to the school's trophy case.
“So that people see it when they come,” said Desouza.
Remembering Fisher, he said, is really what it's all about. For Desouza, it was his friend's upbeat attitude.
“He could make you laugh by doing anything. He could make you happy by doing anything. He was fun to be around,” he said. “Everyone that knew Jordan or met Jordan liked Jordan. He was always friendly. His heart was big.”
And for Lopes?
“His smile. Even if you were mad at him he would just look at you and you'd be like, 'Really Jordan?'” She said. “The smile could get him out of anything. He was an awesome kid.”