ABILENE, Texas (KTAB/KRBC) – All day long members of the sweetwater community gathered at sweetwater middle school for basketball tournament to honor the late Jaden Hernandez. Late last month Jaden was shot and killed at a west Abilene apartment complex, and the tournament was designed to rally around the Hernandez family to help them fight through these trying times.
“I bet you he’s right there with Kobe, you know his favorite basketball player, and I wish they that they can do their one v. one, how he always wanted,” said Jaren Hernandez, Jaden’s brother.
In an effort to rally sweetwater behind the Hernandez family, a group of Jaden’s close friends and family members got together to organize this basketball tournament. All money raised from today’s event will go directly to the Hernandez family.
“As far as all this goes, I’m just very happy that everyone’s out here having fun, we’re out here ballin’ up, and it’s a good time, and it all goes to a good cause,” said Tristan Trevizo, Jaden’s friend.
Why a basketball tournament you ask? During Jaden’s 19-years of life, his second home was on the court.
“Jaden just, he loved basketball, that was his sport you know. Carried a pair of basketball shoes and a basketball in the back of his car. You know anybody called him and said hey you want to ball up, he had still stuff in the car, he was ready,” said Jennifer Hernandez, Jaden’s mom.
Jaden’s murder sent a shockwave through the entire sweetwater community, and emotions were running high for everyone in attendance.
“It overwhelmed me a bit because I didn’t expect this you know. I didn’t know my son was so loved by everybody, and it means a lot to me.”
Jaden might be no longer with us, but his memory will live on forever in the hearts of his loved ones and this community.
“I bet you he’s just glad watching right now. Watching everybody, all of his friends, family members playing basketball. He’d be proud, very proud,” said Jaren Hernandez.
The Sweetwater community is a perfect example of why it’s important to rally around people in their time of need.