ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. (KRQE) – Family and friends will soon be taking to the basketball court in honor of a young man who gave so much of himself to others before his untimely passing at 25-years-old. Now a 3 on 3 tournament is not only keeping his memory alive but helping his community.

Darren Rivas was an active member in Albuquerque, working at different community centers throughout the Duke City as a coach in the game he loved most, basketball.

“He impacted so many young lives from 6 years-old all the way to high school,” said Ramona Cutts, Darren’s mother. In June 2021 Darren passed away at the age of 25 after a short battle with Ulcerative Colitis, that’s a chronic digestive disease characterized by inflammation of the inner lining of the colon. His brother Nate Rivas said the illness is uncommon for most young people. That’s why he said prior to his death, Darren wanted to bring awareness of the illness to others.

After Darren’s passing, the basketball tournament was created to not only honor his memory but his wishes to spread the word on the disease. The family said the game itself is also helping out the community with a clothes drive last year, and collecting items for a food pantry this year. They said it’s just another way that Darren would want to give back.

“This year’s can drive is going to go straight to the West Mesa community which he grew up in and where he coached at,” said Rivas.

Cutts said as long as the tournament keeps benefiting others, her son’s life will continue making an impact. The Darren Rivas 3v3 basketball tournament will be held at the Taylor Ranch Community Center on November 4th. There’s a limit of 16 teams that can take part in the tournament.