MA Milestones Newsmakers

Community honors memory of Mark Kofman with special basketball tournament

GREATER SPRINGFIELD – Longmeadow High School alumni and Springfield JCC intern Rachel Kofman organized the First Annual Mark Kofman Memorial Basketball Tournament at the Springfield JCC. Kofman’s goal was to honor the memory of her brother, Mark Kofman, by orchestrating a community 3v3 basketball tournament. Mark was an avid basketball player and fan who tragically passed away in February of 2014. Rachel’s goal became a reality this June when 10 teams came together to play in honor of Mark.

kofman 1The tournament raised money to establish a scholarship in Mark’s name for Team Springfield-JCC Maccabi Games athletes. The annual JCC Maccabi Games is a weeklong international athletic competition for Jewish teens. Mark was a member of Team Springfield for five years and had been playing basketball at the JCC since age three.

Participants received a t-shirt, designed by Rachel, that honored Mark with his last name “Kofman” and number “22” printed on the back. “It was incredible to see how his legacy could live on through these shirts. I know everyone could feel his spirit come to life on the court throughout the day,” said Rachel Kofman.

Jillian Bertuzzi, a close friend to Mark, said, “Today was a day for us to remember Mark and celebrate the amazing life he lived. He will always be loved and missed, and impossible to be forgotten.” Photos by Rachel Zeller

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