LOWER PAXTON TOWNSHIP, Pa. (WHTM) — Community members held a basketball tournament at Koons Park Saturday honoring a former Harrisburg player. They said it is a way to keep his legacy alive.
Four teams competed in the tournament, but not just the teams took to the court. Kids and adults of all ages also played pickup games. Organizers said that is a sign of how many people their friend Haiishe-n McIntyre left a mark on.
“He’s here watching down like, ‘Go, Mom,'” Haiishe-n’s mother Arlene McIntyre said.
Haiishe-n’s friend and former teammate Shaquann Chisholm said, “He’d definitely be laughing at a lot of guys playing.”
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Chisholm helped organize the tournament, bringing people together to honor the former basketball star.
“We done had some rough days and rough nights, but now this, we celebrating today,” Arlene said.
In 2021, Haiishe-n was shot and killed following a basketball game near Charlotte, North Carolina. His friends and former teammates wanted to do something in his name.
Three of his friends had started a small company, Day Service Entertainment (DSE), geared towards bringing people in the community together to have fun. They decided to host the basketball tournament, also featuring a cookout, face painting, and several business sponsors.
“This was him, bringing people out to have a good time, put on a show, this was him, so I think he’d be honored,” Haiishe-n’s friend and co-founder of DSE Stan Lumpkin Jr. said.
Chisholm added, “He’d be honored especially by everyone that’s playing.”
Arlene said basketball was her son’s world. “He was the basketball player, he was a star basketball player, that’s who he was,” she said.
It only made sense to remember him through the sport, and dozens of people came out to support the cause.
“I think it speaks volumes, just the type of person he was, type of young man he was, the way he rubbed off on a lot of people,” Lumpkin said.
Arlene said, “He was my heart. You know, you see the smile right, so the smile tells it all,” pointing to a picture of Haiishe-n on her shirt.
Haiishe-n’s family and friends are also starting a scholarship in his name. The money will support Harrisburg student-athletes with good grades headed to a four-year university.
“You have people that look like you coming from your neighborhoods and it’s something that he would love,” Haiishe-n’s friend Lance Wilson said.
Lumpkin said the event and the scholarship fit DSE’s mission, as well.
“I think it’s super important to give back. I mean, we come from a city that doesn’t really have much, there isn’t really many outlets or opportunities for people that look like us to come out, have fun,” he said.
This is all a way to make sure Haiishe-n’s name and his story live on.
“I feel him, I feel him right here, I feel him every day, I feel him every night,” Arlene said. “When people pass, you tend to forget them, but we’re not going to forget about Haiishe-n.”
Haiishe-n’s family and friends have raised over $1,500 for the scholarship in his name. They plan to keep the scholarship open for donations, so they can help as many people as possible.