Neighborhood basketball tournament to help young cancer patient

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INDIANAPOLIS, Ind.  -- Teams of three gathered for some basketball fun in 1976 on Indianapolis' east side.  Jim and Betty Gavaghan got the tiny tournament started in their parents' backyard in the Little Flower Parish area, calling it Gav's Classic.

Forty years later, family, friends and strangers get together for the 3-on-3 action.  This year's tournament is significant in more ways than one.  As players dribble, shoot and rebound, they'll be playing for a little boy battling cancer.  Daniel Gavaghan is Jim and Betty's son and is playing again this year.

"We are raising money for 7-year-old cancer patient Brody Stephens," said Daniel Gavaghan.  "He has leukemia for the second time, and all the money raised is going for his family to send them on a trip when he beats the cancer."

Stephens' first fight with cancer was when he was just 1 year old.  The Gavaghans said he was granted a Make-A-Wish then, and beat cancer.  So now the community is coming together to help his family.

The neighborhood tournament has operated as a fundraiser since the 1980s when a friend and player in the tournament died from cancer.  The Gavaghans and the other organizers use the event as a way to collect money for charities and individuals in need.

"There’s around 50 to 55 people who play and around 200 people who donate and watch the tournament," said Gavaghan.

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