Adam Keating holding high school tourney inâFatherâs memory
Out of grief can come good.
Nineteen-year-old Adam Keating is proving that this week with the Keith Keating Memorial boys high school basketball tournament in St. Johnâs and Mount Pearl.
© â Photo by Joe Gibbons/The Telegram
The Mount Pearl Senior High Huskiesâ Zack Matthews goes around the Holy SpiritâFalconsâ PaddyâDawe during their game Friday at the KeithâKeating Memorial boys high school tournament.
The tourney, featuring 16 entries, is being held in honour of Keith Keating, Adamâs father and a longtime basketball coach and manager, who died in June after a four-year battle with stomach and liver cancer.
âIt was about two weeks after Dad died and a friend (Jordan Williams) and I were talking about the good times we had playing basketball for him,â says Adam Keating, who was coached by his father at OâDonel High, where he was that schoolâs athlete of the year in 2011.
âThe idea of a memorial tournament soon came up and right away, we knew it was a good idea.â
Organizing an inaugural event is no easy matter, but Keating, a second-year engineering student at Memorial University, says it has helped him deal with the loss of his father, who coached basketball at the school and provincial levels, as well as baseball,
ââWe were always close through sports and this is another way of staying close to him,â said Keating, who still plays basketball at the senior division 2 level and in the Inter-City league, and is carrying his fatherâs coaching tradition through the Court College Basketball program.
âItâs been good for me.â
He received âfantasticâ co-operation from coaches of the various high school teams ââIâd say a dozen of them knew Dad through coaching,â â but adds nothing would have been possible without the support and help of his mother Eileen, of family and friends, and of people like Dr. Carrie Comerford, whose son is coached by Adam, and who also is the wife of Craig McIsaac, who was one of Keith Keatingâs doctors at the Dr. H. Bliss Murphy Cancer Centre.
âAlmost from the very beginning, sheâs been on board with this and I donât know if it could have been done without her,â said Keating. âSheâs done so much work all the way through, and this week, sheâs been at the gym at 8 oâclock in the morning until the doors close at night.
âSheâs been amazing.â
Comerford is just one of dozens of volunteers working the tournament, whose sponsors include Group M5, Hickman Automotive Group, Cowan Heights Dental Centre, Newfoundland Design Associates Ltd., Marco, Rogers Bussey, Toyota Plaza, Court College Basketball, Provincial Airlines, Max Athletics, OâDonel and Stantech.
That volunteer group includes the referees and officials, âWhich is huge, because that is usually the biggest cost associated with something like this,â said Keating.
Games in the tourney, whose proceeds will go to the Dr. H. Bliss Murphy Cancer Centre, began Thursday and continued Friday at OâDonel gym and Max Fitness on New Cove Road, with semifinals and consolation playoff games set for today. Tier 2 (10 a,m,) and Tier 1 (noon) championship games are scheduled for Sunday at Max Fitness, to be followed by an all-star game.
âThe weather and the (power) blackouts have made it interesting,â chuckled Keating. âI think I must have made about 200 schedule changes, but weâre getting through it.â
As for making this the first of what will be an annual tournament, Keating says thatâs the plan.
âItâs for a great cause and we have a great group of people already. If we can do it, we will.â