A basketball tournament that wrapped up in the Bronx Saturday promoted non-violence and honored the memory of a promising female high school player killed last year in Harlem. NY1's Amanda Farinacci filed the following report.
On the same basketball courts in the Concourse section of the Bronx where Tayshana "Chicken" Murphy spent countless hours aspiring to be the first female Michael Jordan, friends and teammates of the 18-year-old gathered on Saturday to play with heart in honor for their fallen friend.
"This would be like a holiday in her honor, and knowing that she wanted to become a WNBA star, this right here, she'd probably be laughing about the whole thing," said a former teammate of Murphy.
Murphy, a high school senior at Murry Bergtraum High School, was ranked one of the best female point guards in the nation. She was shot dead in the hallway of her apartment in Harlem's Grant Houses on the morning of September 11, 2011.
With the anniversary of Murphy's death approaching, her father Taylonn began a citywide basketball tournament called Ball N Peace and invited her friends and old teammates to play.
"What we're striving to do is promote peace in the midst of a good basketball game," said Taylonn Murphy.
On Saturday, Team Gauchos defeated Team Chicken in what players said would have been a huge disappointment to Murphy, who didn't like to lose. But they were happy to turn out for their friend, who they say lived and breathed basketball.
The Tayshana Chicken Murphy Foundation was set up shortly after her death to encourage kids to get involved with sports in the hopes of ending gun violence.
"Playing basketball like any other sport is an alternative to violence, because at the end of the day, the children get to interact with one another in a positive manner," said activist Kenny Carter.
Organizers hoped more events like this one will pop up all over the city, especially in light of the rash of incidents of gun violence this summer. They said the problem won't go away without the full support of the community.