Emmanuel College will host the 4th annual King of the Court Basketball Tournament in the Jean Yawkey Center Gymnasium on July 5, 2014.
All proceeds from the tournament benefit the Katharine Trask Book Fund, which provides selected Emmanuel students with resources for books and academic supplies and serves as a way for Andre Barbosa '08 to pay forward a kindness once granted to him.
As a student, the first from his family to attend college, Barbosa often struggled to afford books for his classes. He spent his first two years at Emmanuel borrowing, photocopying and scanning the books of his classmates. When that approach became too difficult to maintain, his academic performance suffered and the decline caught the attention of Katharine "Kay" Trask, the director of Emmanuel's Academic Resource Center from 1989 until 2010.
Trask offered Barbosa a deal: she would provide the books to complete his courses at Emmanuel under the condition he finish his final two semesters with a grade point average (GPA) of 3.0 or higher.
"Because she believed in me by providing the tools that I needed to be successful, I began to believe in myself," Barbosa said.
He honored the agreement and finished the year with a 3.2 GPA. In turn, the former Saints basketball player and current assistant director in Emmanuel's Office of Student Financial Services established the King of the Court Basketball Tournament in 2011 to pay tribute to Trask and help current students with their textbook costs, which the College Board estimates at more than $1,200 per year.
"It is clear to me that people come into our lives for a reason, and I am very fortunate to have encountered Mrs. Trask," Barbosa said of his mentor, with whom he keeps in regular contact.
Due to Barbosa's diligence and his ties to the basketball world, the tournament has grown every year since its inception- participants range from youth teams to college athletes and professional players from all over the globe, his sponsors include such big names as Red Bull. Last year, the fund raised nearly $8,000 and Barbosa hopes to reach $10,000 this year.
"I didn't realize how big this had become until last year when someone approached me and said, 'I got one of your scholarships," he said. "Then it hit me, that I really helped someone like Kay helped me."
One student that has benefited from the fund is Meghann Soby '16, a developmental psychology major who also serves as an Orientation Leader and president of Emmanuel's Psychology Club.
"The book fund contributed greatly to my Emmanuel education in that I was able to have the books I needed to succeed throughout the semester," Soby said. "I am maintaining a 4.0 GPA and I believe that the Kay Trask Book Fund played a large role in allowing me to maintain such academic standing.
"I hope that future generations of Emmanuel students who receive aid from this fund will use the award to further their academic lives. Every little bit helps, and one factor that differs could change the outcome of someone's life whether large, or small. I hope that students will use this fund in a positive way and that they will eventually give back to future students as I hope to someday do."
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 to support a good cause. The event features entertainment from DJ Real P.
"It's a really positive atmosphere," Barbosa said.
For more information, contact Andre Barbosa at email@example.com or 617-869-3782. Donations can be made to the Katharine Trask Book Fund in the Business Office at Emmanuel College.