JACKSONVILLE, Fla. - Fifty-six teams came together Saturday to play in honor of a Bolles basketball player who died last year.
Patrick Heinold took his own life in February 2017. His friends said they don't know why, but they are talking about the tragedy and hoping to break the silence about suicide.
Heinold's teammates said he made an impact on their lives and they wanted to hold a basketball competition to honor him and help promote suicide prevention.
The tournament held at Bolles was the Inaugural Patrick Heinold 3X3 Basketball Tournament.
“I just hope everyone realizes the real threat of suicide, like Patrick, no one thought that would happen, so I hope people would realize it's a real thing (and) get more awareness of it,” said Bolles basketball player Josiah Johnson. “The thing with Patrick, he didn't really talk about it. He was quiet sometimes. I hope this shows you can talk to your friends and get help, and I hope it helps more people open up to things they are struggling with."
Heinold's parents were at the tournament. His dad said they are happy to see so many show up and remember their son.
”I have never met stronger people in my life," Bolles player Julian Crosby said. "They are always giving hugs after the games. I don't think they've missed a game this season. They are just so involved still, and it takes so much courage in order to do that."
Proceeds from the basketball tournament will fund local Young Life and American Foundation for Suicide Prevention organizations.
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