By Ray Boyd
PHILADELPHIA (CBS) — A Temple University honors course has presented its students with a group project that requires them to hold an event to benefit a good cause. The objective is to build and display leadership while enduring the road blocks that occur when planning an event.
Five Temple students have come together in the “Honors: The Leadership Experience,” course taught by Temple professor Crystal Harold and are organizing a 4 on 4 basketball tournament for their project.
The “Officer Robert Wilson III Memorial Basketball Tournament,” is set to take place on Friday, April 17th from 6-9 p.m. at Temple University’s Pearson Hall.
The students organizing the event are Cameran Alavi, Ed Borjon, Justin Diaz, Kevin Pisciella and Michelle Lynn.
The proceeds raised during the event will go to the police and fire credit union. Wilson’s murder occurred at a North Philadelphia GameStop store as Wilson was looking to buy a gift for his son.
“It kind of shook us up a little bit,” Alavi said of the incident that took the life of Officer Wilson not far from Temple’s North Philadelphia campus. “It’s a chance for all of us Temple students to come together and kind of honor his life and help his family out a little bit.”
LISTEN: Temple Student Cameran Alavi discussed the upcoming tournament with Ray Boyd and Vince Quinn on Sports Beyond Measure
“We thought since we had to do this project for our leadership class, it would be a perfect opportunity to give back to him as well as show the entire Temple police that we’re behind them and that the students support them.”
Teams will pay their way into the event and spectators are encouraged to attend if they are directly associated with Temple University. Members of the Temple University Police Department as well as Temple EMS are expected to attend. Many of them were friends of Wilson.
Alavi and the rest of his group members hope the tournament will help Wilson’s family and also better the relationship between Temple students and the police that work in the surrounding area.
“There is definitely somewhat of a divide between the Temple students and police in general,” Alavi explained. He added that sometimes college-age students tend to think that the police are just out there to get them into trouble, but he hopes that this tournament shows a level of support for law enforcement.
“Our group believes that the police obviously have a very important purpose.” Alavi believes the tournament can help to bridge the gap between police and the student body and reduce any animosity that may exist.
The students also are hoping to have the support of Temple’s Men’s and Women’s Basketball teams and are currently working with both to figure out their involvement in the event.
“I chose to have students focus on a charitable cause or organization, because as future leaders, I wanted them to be aware that the communities in which they lead and conduct business, are an important stakeholder,” Harold said.
“I also believe that they develop important skill sets from reaching out to and liaison-ing with community members as they work to get buy-in and support for their event. The charitable aspect also helps by giving the students a greater sense of purpose as they carry out the project.”
While grades are certainly a priority for this group of honors students, the impact that they will make for a family that lost a father and husband will be the true reward.
The Sports Beyond Measure Podcast is a weekly sports podcast that delivers a fun perspective on the latest headlines in national sports, Philadelphia professional sports and community-based sports. The series is hosted by 94 WIP’s Vince Quinn, Ray Boyd and Eric “Turtle” Golden. You can download/subscribe for free on iTunes.