BLUEFIELD, WV (WVNS) — Three years ago, Lil Tony Webster passed away due to an aneurysm while he was weight-lifting.
Several weeks after his passing, on January 26, 2019, Governor Jim Justice declared January 7th as Lil Tony Interscholastic Memorial Day in West Virginia.
But Lil Tony’s legacy did not stop there.
His father, Tony Webster, along with several others, helped organize the inaugural Lil Tony Memorial Classic.
The event featured two middle school teams and four high school teams, including defending Class 2A State Champs Poca, which played against Graham while Bluefield went up against Shady Spring High School.
Connor Roberts, team captain for Graham, said it was great to see the amount of support the event got.
“It gets everybody, the whole community, out here,” said Roberts “Just show the support for everything. And to just use that to get the community together and bring everybody together is really great.
Todd Baker, the head coach of Graham, knew Lil Tony from his time playing AAU basketball. He said Lil Tony being honored like this shows the impact he had on those around him.
“Oh, I think it just says a lot about what he stood for and how cause Lil Tony had friends on both sides,” said Baker. “It wasn’t, he was a friend to everyone. He was just a good person and had a great heart.”
Lil Tony’s father said those who participated in the event said it was an honor to be a part of it.
And going forward, he wants the event to continue growing.
“It’s just great and I think it, we want to make this an annual event,” said Webster. “Maybe, I’ve already had some people that said, why don’t we get a girl’s team involved, why don’t we get a college team involved so we’re looking to expand this in the next coming years.”