Lights go out, they play anyway for late Cliff Tucker
(CBS4) -- After the stroke of midnight, on Saturday morning, a strange scene unfolded at Skyline Optimist Park in Northeast El Paso. Eight cars with their brights on had lined the perimeter of the basketball courts while a DJ blasted hip-hop music. On a typical night, the police station would have had phones ringing off the hook but not on this night, this night was for a community hero.
"Everything I did, in sports, I did because I wanted to be like Cliff," former University of Minnesota wide receiver Rashad Still told CBS4's Eric O'Brien.
Still was just one of a handful of current NCAA Division-I athletes whom entered a three-on-three basketball tournament to help the Tucker family with funeral costs following a rollover accident that killed Cliff on May 28th. Tucker had been an unstoppable force on the hardwood as well as the gridiron at Chapin (class of '07) before becoming somewhat of a basketball legend for the University of Maryland, in addition to a brief stint with UTEP Football after graduating.
"I knew this community would not let me down," Samantha Stukes, the event organizer said in the darkness.
Games were being played in the gymnasium simultaneously to the outdoor courts, however, after 10:00 p.m. the park lights went black. Nonetheless, hundreds continued to hoop well into the wee hours of the morning and helped raise more than $2,000 for Tucker's family. The instant success and overwhelming immediate support could help "3-on-3 for CT" become an annual tradition to help send Tucker's 12-year-old son, Dallas go to college.