Dunk It! raises nearly $14,000 for MS Society

The 4th annual Petit MS Memorial Basketball Tournament hosted 45 teams on Saturday at Cheshire High School.

·                                 By Leslie Hutchison

·                                 March 24, 2011

The 4th annual Petit MS Memorial Basketball Tournament on Saturday had its best year yet, raising nearly $14,000 for the Connecticut Chapter of the National Multiple Sclerosis Society, in honor of the Petit family.

 Tournament Team Coordinator Justin Ivey said 45 teams played during the day-long tournament at Cheshire High School while about 200 fans gathered to watch the charitable event.

 The tournament has now raised about $45,000 for the state’s MS Society since it began in 2008, according to the event's website. The tournament is coordinated by four classmates who were teenagers when it began: Megan Alexander, Ivey, Wayne Lawrence and Steve Selnick.

 The organizers said they started the tournament as a tribute to the Petit family who began raising donations for MS research after Jennifer Hawke-Petit was diagnosed with the disease.

 Hawke-Petit and her two daughters, Hayley and Michaela were killed in July, 2007. Dr. William Petit, husband and father, was the only survivor. Jury selection began on March 16 for the capital murder trial of Joshua Komisarjevsky. His accomplice, Steven Hayes, was sentenced to death in 2010 for the Petit murders.

 “(The tournament) has grown over the years,” Ivey said. “We went gung-ho getting the word out, and the Petits are back in the news now because of the trial," he said.

 Here are the winning teams from the 2011 tournament:

·                                 ABA League, 1st - 3rd grade: Red Storm

·                                 NIT League, 4th - 6th grade: The Huskies

·                                 NCAA League, 7th – 8th grade: Middletown Wildcats

·                                 EURO League, 9th – 12th grade: Flight Brothers

·                                 NBA League, over 18: We Pham

·                                 Family League, all ages: Tonka Timers

·                                 NCAAW League, women under the age of 18: The Wildcats

Did you watch the tournament on Saturday? Who was your favorite team? Tell us in the comments.