August Madness : Umemba, Castro Prepare for Fifth Annual Let It Fly Basketball Tournament Aug. 10

The five years have passed quickly since
Kyle Umemba and Cesar Castro decided they wanted to run a basketball tournament
for the youth of Chelsea.

“We’re just two Chelsea guys in the
community giving back,” said Umemba.

Year Five for the Let It Fly Basketball
Tournament is here and the best players in the area will gathering on Saturday,
Aug. 10 at the Jordan Boys and Girls Club on Willow Street.

The first tournament in 2015 was held
outside in 90-degree heat. The steamy weather prompted Kyle, 26, a graduate of BB&N and George Washington
University, finance professional and fashion model – and Cesar, 28, a graduate
of Salem State University known as “The Grand Young Man” for scoring 1,000
points in his CHS basketball career, CHS basketball coach and paraprofessional
in the school district – brought the tournament indoors and it’s been played at
the JGBC basketball gymnasium ever since.

According to the two co-directors, all the
stuff that makes the tournament so special will be back in 2019. There will be
public address announcing for each game, a DJ’s musical entertainment, free
refreshments, and a raffle table.

Key community leaders such as CBC President
Joan Cromwell (“We couldn’t do this without Joan,” son Kyle Umemba says
proudly) and Chelsea Police Community Liaison Officer Sammy Mojica Sr. will be
on hand to help make sure everything runs smoothly. Chelsea Police Officers
David Batchelor and Keith Sweeney are also valuable contributors to the
tournament each year.

Sammy Mojica Jr., who played college
basketball at Drexel and is currently a professional player in the Puerto Rico
Basketball League, will make a guest appearance. One year, NBA player Nerlens
Noel of Everett, made a guest appearance.

One
of the best players in the Let It Fly Tournament will be Jarnel Guzman, an

All-Scholastic guard who led Lynn English to the Division 1 state championship
in March.“If they’re a big name player in New England, they’ll be here,” said
Castro.

Twelve teams, eight high school and four
middle school, will compete for the titles. A standing room only crowd is
expected throughout the day.

“It’s great energy,” said Umemba. “We want
others to follow our lead and I think it’s having that kind of effect. One of
our scholarship recipients, Alfredo Hernandez, held a tournament at Chelsea
High School.”

“There was a tournament held at Clinton
Court that was generated by our idea for a tournament,” added Castro.

Umemba and Castro aren’t sitting on their
success. The plans are to take ‘Let It Fly’ national in the next few years.

And if their organizational talents in
making Let It fly the premier summer hoop extravaganza in Greater Boston are
any indication, we would suggest either get on aboard or get out of the way.

“We’re building a platform in Chelsea,” said
Umemba.

“The important thing is that everybody has a
great

time,” concluded Castro.

And
if you can’t be there to enjoy the tournament in person, Chelsea Community
Cable Television will be there to record the action for a broadcast.

“We’re so
grateful to Mr. [Robert] Bradley and his station for covering it every year.”
said the directors.

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August Madness : Umemba, Castro Prepare for Fifth Annual Let It Fly Basketball Tournament Aug. 10

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