Josh Kaseberg,12, of the Ball Playerz, an AAU League; tries to get past Antonio Carter, 12, from the West Basketball team from Vancouver in the 2009 Z Tournament at Irving Park. Photo by Julie Keefe
The Annual Z-Man Basketball Tournament and Day of Re-Tilling the Soil, Saturday July 16, is dedicated to longtime Portland-area coach and teacher Phillip Walden.
Organizer Larry Collins said Walden, who is currently battling cancer, has dedicated his life to working with young people, particularly in track and field.
"We wanted to give back to this man who has given so much to our young people," Collins said.
The summer community service event and free basketball tournament includes a book giveaway and free party at Irving Park.
The clean-ups start with free breakfast at 8:15 a.m. at the Maple Mallory Apartments, 3720 NE Mallory Ave.; Jefferson High School, 5210 N. Kerby Ave.; and Cornerstone Community Church, 2216 NE Killingsworth St.
The Z-Tournament, named in honor of deceased Portland Police Officer Mark Zylawy, runs from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. at Irving Park, NE 7th and Fremont Street.
The competition features one age bracket of eight teams of fifth and sixth graders, and a second bracket of seventh and eighth graders.
To sign up for the tournament call 503-839-1701, or 503-839-8676.
The book giveaway and party are at noon, with hamburgers and more, at Irving Park.
Sponsors include the Housing Authority of Portland; the Portland Police Bureau; State Sen. Chip Shields; Providence Health System; On the Block Ministry; Multnomah County Emergency Management; and People of Purpose and Associates (POPA).
"This is a very big deal, every year it keeps growing," Collins, of POPA, says. "That's why our motto is 'stop pointing fingers, start lending a hand.'"
Zylawy, who died in a traffic accident on his way to work in January, 2008, was one of the most respected officers in the Portland Police Bureau, with many friends in the Northeast Precinct where he worked for almost 17 years.
Said to have earned the respect even of the individuals he arrested, Zylawy's memorial service was held at the Maple Mallory Apartments in Northeast Portland even though he lived in Vancouver.
He was known affectionately to all as "Z-Man."
Also in his honor, the Portland Police Bureau every year gives "Z-Man" full-tuition scholarships for students at De La Salle North Catholic High School.
Collins says his group is looking for donations of any kind of books in good condition, from children's to teens and adult books.
The noon party includes prizes and giveaways, hamburgers and hotdogs, community awards, and live music. More volunteers for the tournament and community clean-up are always welcomed.
For more information about Officer Mark Zylawy and the Z-Man Scholarship, go to www.zmanscholarship.com.
To volunteer at Re-Tilling the Soil, call 503-839-8676.