Frankie Gyamfi memorial game one to remember

Men’s basketball team remembers former player who died of lung cancer raising funds for memorial scholarship in close game against the Centennial Colts

Head coach Jonathan Smith huddles with Huskies men's basketball players wearing memorial shirts reading "Gone but never forgotten. RIP Frankie Gyamfi" on the Nov. 21 "night to remember" basketball game. Photo: Brittany Barber/The Dialog

Head coach Jonathan Smith huddles with Huskies men’s basketball players wearing memorial shirts reading “Gone but never forgotten. RIP Frankie Gyamfi” on the Nov. 21 “night to remember” basketball game. Photo: Brittany Barber/The Dialog

It was a night to remember for friends and family of Frankie Gyamfi who joined together for a memorial basketball game on Friday Nov. 21 commemorating the Huskies basketball player who lost his life to cancer on June 21.

Gyamfi touched the heart of many and left his mark on and off the court.

“Another day another blessing” Gyamfi often tweeted to remind his followers to be thankful to be alive. Donations during the game were collected for the Frankie Gyamfi memorial scholarship.

Tipping off the night was the women’s basketball game against the Centennial Colts. At the end of the first half, the Huskies were behind 17 points, 39-22. Unfortunately the Huskies were unable to pull through and the final score was 67-47 for the Colts.

Between the women’s and men’s game, a ceremony was held to honour Gyamfi where his family was presented with his framed away jersey, number 4, and an engraving that read, “In loving memory of Frankie Gyamfi, forever a Husky.”

The head coach of the men’s basketball team, Jonathan Smith, began the ceremony with a moving speech about Gyamfi. “It’s amazing in the past year that we can see here tonight how many people he invested in,”  said Smith. “He cared about all of you individually, collectively and he spent time enriching people’s lives. I can say for myself as a coach, he enriched mine. We want to remember our friend who might not be here in body but I’m dang sure he’s here in spirit.”

You could feel the emotion in the room as glow sticks lit up the crowded gym during the moment of silence to honour Gyamfi and all that he had done for his teammates, friends and family members.

Gyamfi was able to reach out to many during his 23 years of life, including Kevin Jeffers. Jeffers was Frankie’s basketball coach at Eastern Commerce Collegiate Institute who showed up to celebrate Frankie’s life.

“He’s the perfect example of perseverance and strength. In his last year he cracked our [basketball] squad and started for us. It’s a testament to his character and who he is as an individual and [his death is] a sad thing that transpired,” said Jeffers.

“Don’t take life for granted and he never did,” said Jeffers. “You see everybody walking around with his t-shirts as he inspired a lot of people. ‘Another day another blessing.’ His friends and his family walk around with that because he instilled that in them. He stayed true to his character and it showed.”

The emotional night ended with the men’s basketball team losing against the Colts.

The first half, ending with a score of 47-35 pushed the men to “pick up the intensity,” said Emmanual Makuna, a second year forward on the Huskies. During the second half, the scores began to tie up, “We fed off of the crowd’s energy. We needed that,” Makuna said of his team.

The pounding of the basketball shoes on the court could have been confused with the fast-paced heart beat of the crowd as the scores began to climb together, tying the score three times before the buzzer sounded. With seconds left on the clock, a final three-point field-goal from the Colts left the Huskies one point behind with a score of 78-77.

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Frankie Gyamfi memorial game one to remember