A family in Westchester is hitting the court to raise awareness of gun control and to remember a fallen family member who was gunned down in Yonkers.
The third annual Michael Nolan Basketball Tournament will be held beginning at 10 a.m. on Saturday, Feb. 23 at Lincoln High School on Kneeland Avenue in Yonkers. The event is named in honor of the former Oakland Athletic’s prospect and Yonkers native, who was killed in a drive-by in 2015.
The tournament will include 13 teams battling it out, with more than 700 people - including some of the people Nolan’s organs saved - expected to attend the event, which will be stocked with vendors.
“The loss of my brother Michael has not only devastated myself, family, but also has hurt the community. Michaels organs were donated, he saved six people’s lives when making the donation which the hospital said is a miracle,” his brother James said.
Shortly after 12:30 a.m. on Sept. 18, 2015, Nolan was standing outside of his Mercedes outside at the Burger King on Central Park Avenue when six shots rang out of the Toyota Camry being driven by four men, with one of the bullets hitting Nolan in the head.
Nolan was rushed to Jacobi Medical Center in the Bronx, where he was put into a coma and underwent six brain surgeries before being declared dead on Oct. 9.
The Yonkers Police Department and Westchester County District Attorney’s office launched an investigation that determined that the shooting was “in retaliation for the beating of an individual known to the suspects and related to events that took place during a drag race two nights prior.”
Four suspects were apprehended and convicted on multiple charges. Nolan’s organs were donated following his death, saving six peoples’ lives.
Following his death, Nolan’s family set up The Michael Nolan Scholarship Fund in Yonkers, which has handed out 18 scholarships in three years. Legislation banning drag racing has passed, a street was named in his honor and his brother has worked diligently to take guns off the street.
“The loss of my brother called for a change not only in Yonkers but all of New York I have been working on laws to help prevent people from being hurt like Michael,” James Nolan said. “ have now dedicated my life to making sure I continue Michaels legacy. I want to make sure that kids and adults know that there are better ways than doing bad and that they can do good and change lives.”
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