4th Tre Cunningham Memorial Basketball Tournament is biggest yet

Saturday, June 15, 2024 | 6:01 AM

Tre Cunningham’s memory gleams on in Jeannette, and the summer varsity basketball tournament in his name keeps growing because of it.

The fourth annual Tre Cunningham Memorial Basketball Tournament, presented by the Jeannette Educational Foundation, is set for June 20-22 at Jeannette High School and Jeannette McKee Elementary.

“This is the biggest tournament yet,” organizer Tim Carney said.

The tournament has grown from eight teams in the first year to 12 this year

This 2024 field includes Jeannette, Greensburg Central Catholic, Greensburg Salem, Norwin, Yough, Monessen, Steel Valley, Westmont Hilltop, Belle Vernon, Hempfield, Apollo-Ridge and Gateway.

Teams will play in two pools, red and blue, then advance to a single-elimination tournament June 22 at the high school.

Games Thursday and Friday begin at 6 and 6:30 p.m., with games to follow at 7, 7:30, 8 and 8:30.

On Saturday, the tournament starts at 9 a.m.

“Obviously, unfortunately, something tragic happened, and Jeannette has done a great job of making it something that the community can get around and celebrate,” Greensburg Salem coach Cam Auld said. “I think it’s a real cool thing that it’s local as well. It’s something that the surrounding communities can be a part of. Any time is a good time to play basketball, but when you mix in that community aspect of it but are still able to keep it competitive, especially with a ton of rivals all being in it, it is a really cool thing.”

Cunningham was a three-sport star for the Jayhawks, winning WPIAL championships in football and baseball and a PIAA title in football. He was killed in a motorcycle accident in July 2020.

“We have given away $9,000 in scholarships in the three years we have been doing this,” Carney said. “More important than the Championship Chain Trophy, the MVPs and the scholarships is the preservation of Tre’s memory and legacy he left behind as an incredible student-athlete.”

The plan is to have Cunningham’s father, Steve, come to the school to talk with scholarship applicants. Carney said this is because the younger classes might not be familiar with Tre and what he did at Jeannette.

“We want him to share some stories and all the work that goes into reaching the level of success Tre was able to accomplish in such a short period time,” Carney said. “The weekend is all about Tre and his family. He is dearly missed, and his family has the support of the city.”

There will not be a slam dunk or 3-point contest this year, Carney said.

“We have 12 teams, so I need to make the most of the time,” Carney said. “I may bring back the 3-point contest in the future. The dunk contest was cool, but getting dunkers at this level is tough.”

The event will have a special guest this year, Olympic bobsledder Jasmine Jones, who has family in Jeannette.

Jones will greet fans from noon to 2 p.m. on June 22 at the high school.

“She is planning on wearing her Olympic uniform and taking pictures with attendees, mainly the kids,” Carney said.

Tre Cunningham Memorial Basketball Tournament

Past winners/MVP

2021: Penn-Trafford/Noah Wright

2022: Latrobe/Landon Butler

2023: Belle Vernon/Zion Moore

Bill Beckner Jr. is a TribLive reporter covering local sports in Westmoreland County. He can be reached at bbeckner@triblive.com.


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