High school hoops fans can expect the same high-caliber level of play from local and top-tier national teams at this year’s Tournament of Champions to be held November 26-30. Exceptional basketball is a given, but this year’s tournament brings a new name and new cause – The Kevin Brown Memorial Tournament of Champions.

Named after Washington Community High School Head Basketball Coach Kevin Brown, who courageously fought a battle with brain cancer, specifically glioblastoma, the tournament is partnering with KBStrong Fighting the Fight, a non-profit organization established in his honor, to raise awareness of brain cancer.  The tournament will continue to attract future NBA players and to provide an unparalleled fan experience.

The Kevin Brown Memorial Tournament of Champions Committee and KBStrong Fighting the Fight board members are organizing the tournament, with a renewed focus. “We have a laser target, and that is on glioblastoma,” says Eric Schermerhorn, KBStrong board member and head basketball coach at Washington. “That’s why KBStrong is pledging proceeds from the tournament to fund local, glioblastoma research at the University of Illinois College of Medicine Peoria.”

Physicians and laboratory researchers at the University of Illinois College of Medicine Peoria are conducting cutting-edge research to advance our knowledge and understanding of brain cancer, as well as to translate those findings toward improved clinical treatments and outcomes for patients.

According to Shawn Powell, tournament director and the person responsible for bringing the event to Washington, “The Kevin Brown Memorial Tournament of Champions is a local initiative that is making a large impact nationally. Teaming with the College of Medicine in Peoria to fund local research that is making an impact much more broadly seemed like a great fit. The idea that this local event can fund local research that is contributing to making discoveries and having an impact resonated with all of us in Coach Brown’s circle,” he says.

“We would love to be a part of a story where someday a person who is diagnosed with glioblastoma can not only “fight the fight”, but can defeat this horrific disease,” Powell says.