These same friends, former teammates, classmates, coaches and those with a desire to help others will bring Cleveland together May 18 at the sixth annual Colby Stansberry Heart of a Champion Challenge 3-on-3 Basketball tournament.
The tournament — which has helped raise more than $30,000 in scholarships to local students over the past six years — will begin at 9 a.m. at Cleveland Middle School. The tournament will be divided into three divisions; college age-29; 30-over; and 50-over. The cost is $60 per four-player team. Other events include a free-throw contest, a 3-point contest and dunk contest. There will also be items up for auction, including a Pat Summit and Cuonzo Martin autographed basketball, an autographed Tamika Catchings basketball and print as well as an Atlanta Falcons football signed by Matt Ryan and Julio Jones.
The Colby Stansberry Memorial Scholarship Fund gives awards in memory of the late Colby Ryan Stansberry.
Colby was a member of the 2007 Cleveland High School Class and the son of Michelle and Terry Stansberry. Although Colby’s time on earth was short, his impact for good was great. He was a Christian example in every aspect of his life — as a student, as an employee, in his service to the church, in his love to his family and friends, and in his support of good works,” said scholarship committee member Pam Fromm. “The scholarship award is presented to a senior student at Bradley Central, Cleveland High and Walker Valley whose Christlike spirit and behavior demonstrates a propensity to continue throughout life to be a light to the world. The scholarship fund also supports other outreach events in the community.
“We are honored to have so many wonderful T-shirt Sponsors annually and many players that come ready with their teams to play in the tournament. Some of the players have been with us every year. We hope to see them all again this year on May 18 at Cleveland Middle School for a day of 3-on-3 basketball and much more.”
Colby was very passionate about basketball and in 2008 family and friends started the Colby Stansberry Heart of a Champion Challenge to honor Colby’s life and his love for the game with the hope the Heart of a Champion tournament would be an annual event. The tournament is for the community to celebrate Colby’s life and memory. The Heart of A Champion fundraiser benefits a scholarship fund for graduating seniors and assists with students’ dream of college or career education. This year the fund hopes to award $4,500 to students in the community. The scholarship also provides three young men the chance to attend Camp Cherokee, a Christian camp that Colby treasured and looked forward to every summer.
“Colby loved going to First Baptist Church’s Camp Cherokee and because the camp made a huge impact on Colby's walk with the Lord, it is Terry and Michelle's wish that each year the CS Memorial Fund sponsor three young men to attend Camp Cherokee,” said committee member Debbie Creech.
The tournament and scholarship also are a way to keep Colby’s memory alive and help others in the community with needs that may arise through similar tragedies as well as providing a means to let families know there are ways to keep the memories of a lost child alive through community involvement.
Former Cleveland Blue Raider standout baseball player and scholarship recipient Caleb Hiddleson said he was honored to be chosen to receive the award and praised the significance of the work done by Colby’s parents, Terry and Michelle.
"It was an honor to win the Colby Stansberry Memorial Scholarship. Knowing that I was chosen for this award over so many other worthy candidates, I am so deeply humbled because I knew how special of a person Colby was to everyone he met. I want to sincerely thank Mr. and Mrs. Stansberry, and I pray God's richest blessings over them for their kind and truly genuine hearts,” he stated.
The sentiment was echoed by former Bradley Central Bear star basketball player Miles Christian, another grateful recipient.
“Winning Colby’s scholarship was truly one of the biggest honors I have ever received. Colby exemplified character and friendship to the highest degree. That fact that the tourney continues each year with the amount of support it has is certainly a tribute to the impact he had on our community. He was definitely the type of young man I want to be,” said Christian.