June 20, 2013

Kings of Court Tournament A Way to 'Pay It Forward' for Barbosa '08

The 3rd annual King of the Court Basketball Tournament, to be held in the Emmanuel College gymnasium on July 6th, kicks off the summer basketball tournament schedule in and around Boston. With all proceeds benefiting the Katherine Trask Book Fund, which provides selected Emmanuel students with resources for books and academic supplies, it also serves as a way for Andre Barbosa '08 to give back to the Emmanuel community and to return a kindness once bestowed upon him.

As a student, Barbosa often struggled to afford books for his classes, spending his early college years photocopying pages and borrowing books from classmates and friends. The approach often took a toll on his academic performance, as he found himself lacking the proper tools for success. A frequent visitor of the College's Academic Resource Center (ARC), Barbosa established a relationship with the former director of the ARC, Katherine "Kay" Trask, who also noticed the decline. By his senior year, she offered him a deal: She would purchase his books with the caveat that he finish his final two semesters with a grade point average (GPA) of 3.0 or higher.

"She's a great woman to have done that," said Barbosa. "She did it out of the kindness of her heart and she would have done it for anybody. The ARC staff in general is like that. They are one of the hidden pillars of Emmanuel."

Barbosa honored the agreement, finishing the year with a 3.2 GPA. In turn, the former Saints basketball player and current assistant director of student financial services at Emmanuel established the King of the Court Basketball Tournament in 2011 to honor Kay's deed and help current students.

"I wanted it to be my thank you to Kay," said Barbosa, who recognizes the now retired Trask with a plaque at the yearly tournament. "I'll never forget what she did for me. This is my way of paying it forward."

Last year, the tournament featured a wide range of talent, from youth teams to college athletes and international players. Barbosa is in discussions to bring in a professional team from Connecticut this summer and hopes to expand upon the 10-team format from previous years, including starting a women's tournament during the weekend. Previously, the fund raised $5,000 and was dispersed between two Emmanuel students. This year, Barbosa's goal is to raise $10,000 to be donated to up to five students.

Whether someone is interested in playing ($300 per team, 10 player maximum), donating, or simply attending ($3 admission), Barbosa hopes fans will come to campus this summer to support a good cause.

"I'm a product of Emmanuel and this is what Emmanuel is all about," he said. "Giving back and paying it forward."

Donations can be made to the Katherine Trask Book Fund at the Business Office at Emmanuel College. For more information, contact Andre Barbosa at barbosaa@emmanuel.edu or 617-869-3782.