The Dublin community is coming together to host a basketball tournament benefiting Rayce Jackson, a 19-year-old resident recently diagnosed with Non-Hodgkin lymphoma, a cancer that starts in white blood cells called lymphocytes, which are part of the body’s immune system.
The benefit is called “3 on 3 4 Rayce Jackson” and will take place at 4 p.m. on Sunday, June 23, at Dublin High School.
“He loves basketball. That’s probably his favorite sport in life so we went with the 3-on-3 tournament because that’s the game he loves,” said Cojack Martinez.
Jackson was involved in baseball, cross country and basketball when he was in high school. Martinez said that Jackson is known in Dublin for the “outstanding basketball player that he was.”
“He is probably one of the greatest young men you will ever meet in your life,” he said. “He’s great with kids. Kids love this guy. People love the guy. He’s probably the politest kid you’ll ever meet. He’s outgoing, funny, he’s good to be around. He’s just a great, all-around young man and a great athlete.”
Martinez coached Jackson in Little League when he was 11 years old. He said Jackson is respectful and never forgets to shake his hand when he sees him.
Jackson is still currently involved in sports. He referees basketball and umpires and coaches baseball.
“People see him out there refereeing, coaching, umpiring and they see him talking to the kids, teaching the kids and to a parent, you can’t beat that. You can’t beat a kid that just graduated high school, sitting there taking his time to stop the game, to talk to a kid and to teach him to be better at what he’s doing as he’s refereeing. You don’t find that very often,” Martinez said.
The basketball tournament has two age divisions: 11-14 and 15 and up.
Food options will be either fish or chicken strips with sides of coleslaw and French fries.
There will be a $3 entry fee and $15 fee to watch the tournament and eat one plate of food.
It will cost $15 per player to enter the tournament. If the players want to eat, it will cost an extra $10.
There will also be a silent auction with pastries and other items.
A concession stand will be available with purchase options of water, Gatorade, sodas and candy.
Martinez said the entire community of Dublin is asking about Jackson
“I would do anything for that boy, anything that boy needs, anything his family needs. All my Dublin family and the Dublin community, we would do anything for that son,” Martinez said. “I call him ‘Grasshopper.’ He’s my second kid and anything I can do for ‘Grasshopper’ and his family, I'm willing to do it.”
Sixteen teams have already registered for the tournament.
To register a team, contact Dublin basketball head coach Will Parker at 817-366-0819. Registration deadline is June 21.
For more information about the benefit, contact Martinez at 254-413-9303.
“Let’s come support ‘Grasshopper’ and let’s show him how much he’s loved,” Martinez added.