Murdered Flint man loved basketball - WNEM TV 5

Murdered Flint man loved basketball; brothers play in honor of him

Posted: Updated:
FLINT, MI (WNEM) -

Some say the game of basketball is like the game of life. It can't be played alone.

When one of your teammates falls, you're there to help them up.

On Thursday night, a group of men did just that.

"It's a sad reason why everyone is gathered here, but at the same time, it's for a good cause," said Marquise Gray.

Gregory Watkins was more than a teammate and friend to these guys - he was a brother. Watkins was shot and killed at the 12th Street Market in Flint on Saturday night. Thursday night's game was a tribute to him.

"Basketball was like his first love and he enjoyed it. He kept us up in spirit when we played together," said his former teammate, Chrishaun Vardun.

By all accounts, Gregory Watkins is remembered as a great person.

"I mean this man was a real good man, a family man, and his wife and his son, they have to grow up without a father, all because of some foolishness, it's a sad story," said Gray, who played basketball at Beecher but knew Watkins back from their playing days.

On Thursday night, his wife, Stavona Watkins, and her two kids watched as these men expressed their love in their own way.

"They're taking me up under their wings now," said Stavona Watkins.

And it was clear Gregory Watkins' brothers will be there for 8-year-old Stevon and 5-year-old Constance too. The two children were Gregory Watkins' children. 

Stevon got to play with the guys for just a few minutes on Thursday night. When he took the court, he got a huge cheer. And then on his first shot, it happened. He made a 10-foot jumper, and that bucket opened a floodgate of emotions.

"It was very emotional because Greg is always working with him, playing basketball and football, and everything, so right when he ran off the court, he ran into my arms and said, 'I miss him so much,' and broke down, so it's hard, but it's all in good spirit," said Stavona Watkins.

For just a couple hours the emotion of losing Gregory Watkins was put to the back of these guys' minds.

"I'm just happy to know that she's here and to know that these are all the people who loved Greg when he was around," said Vardun.

And when the final buzzer went off, the score meant nothing. But to play for their teammate, their brother, the game meant more than we will know.

Gregory Watkins and his wife graduated from Hamady High School in 2004. The money raised from Thursday night's game will go to his wife and kids. Stavona Watkins told TV5 she plans to use the money to help put their two children through school. 

Copyright 2013 WNEM (Meredith Corporation). All rights reserved.

Powered by WorldNow
WNEM
Powered by WorldNow CNN
All content © 2014, WNEM; Saginaw, MI. (A Meredith Corporation Station) and WorldNow. All Rights Reserved.
For more information on this site, please read our Privacy Policy and Terms of Service.