WILDWOOD -- A local business owner is giving back to his community with a tournament he hopes to grow into an annual event.
Levern Fitzpatrick, owner of J & E Barbershop, organized a five-on-five basketball tournament to the recently renovated courts at Fox Park. Four teams participated in this year's tournament, which was open to ages 15 to 35 and gave an summer time opportunity to many off-season local athletes.
Fitzpatrick previously held tournaments in Whitesboro, but said bringing the games to Wildwood brought more opportunities for spectators and players.
Quameer Amina, 15, of Camden, works right across from the courts at Bannon's Ocean Cafe. When he heard the tournament needed players, he jumped at the chance to play with friends and play against older players.
Competition heated up quickly between the four teams, but the games were all in good fun and allowed former and current high school athletes to play together.
"This is what it's all about," Fitzpatrick said, gesturing to the young men on the court shooting around and laughing.
The tournament also brought out family and friends, with Fitzpatrick's cousin, local comedian and podcast host Jay Watkins, announcing and providing color commentary during the games.
"I do everything I can. Whatever I see that can be beneficial to these young men and to the community as a whole, I just do it," he said. Fitzpatrick also hopes to get a barber competition started in Wildwood.
"I look forward to making this an every year event and allow this guys to come out and have fun," said Fitzpatrick.
A portion of the tournament's proceeds was donated to the Wildwood Recreation Center.
As of right now, participants in Fitzpatrick's tournament are just playing for bragging rights, but the teams did go home with a commemorative trophy.