‘He was always about the kids’; Tourney honors late park manager

Photo by Daniel Jean-Lubin Mika and LES went at it in the Tom Boston Memorial Classic championship.
Photo by Daniel Jean-Lubin
Mika and LES went at it in the Tom Boston Memorial Classic championship.

BY DANIEL JEAN-LUBIN | Although Tom Boston is no longer with us, his legacy of supporting youth sports continues.

The fourth annual Tom Boston Memorial Classic wrapped up on the courts of the Hamilton Fish Recreational Center last Wednesday with the championship game pitting LES versus Mika, with LES taking home the title by the final score of 26-24.

The tournament was created to honor former park manager Boston, who tragically died of a heart attack in 2010.

The girls’ basketball tournament uses a single-elimination playoff format with eight local teams, spanning three weeks to crown a champion.

Tom Boston began at the Ham Fish Rec Center in 1995 and quickly developed a reputation for being a charismatic man who was always open to new ideas in the hopes of making the Pitt St. athletic facility a better place.

“He had a passion for children and being active, with a general passion for life,” said tournament director Bill Lynch. “I was going to have to call this game off due to the rain, but no way Tom would have allowed it if he was still around.”

Said Oklahoma, a frequent spectator of games in the park, “Tom was a great man. He always had a minute to help you out if you needed it. Mr. Boston was all about the kids. He probably spent over a hundred hours going over ways to get these local kids into the park and get more active.”

After the championship game, Lynch and other park officials held their customary award ceremony to hand out the Tom Boston Classic Trophy and some individual hardware to the tournament participants and the winning team. Afterwards the Boston family, who make the journey Downtown for the memorial classic every year, were presented with a life-sized portrait of Tom Boston, painted by some of the tournament participants and other rec center-goers who knew Tom.

“It’s a pleasure to see them honoring my son like this,” said his mother. “As long as they continue to host this great event, we’ll continue to trek down here.”