Basketball fundraiser held in Paterson honors anti-gun violence advocate Najee Seabrooks

Seabrooks was said to be in a mental health crisis when he was killed during a standoff with police back in March.

News 12 Staff

May 13, 2023, 9:54 PM

Updated 395 days ago

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A Paterson community gathered Saturday to raise money in honor of an activist who worked to reduce gun violence.
Najee Seabrooks was said to be in a mental health crisis when he was killed during a standoff with police back in March. He was remembered as a hero for the work he did in the community at the basketball fundraiser held in Eastside High School.
The money raised from the event will go to a scholarship fund for Seabrooks’ daughter Sophia and his younger brother Tuton.
"He always wanted them to succeed. So we're just doing our part, helping out to make sure that his wishes and some of his goals come true," said Terrance Drakeford, a friend of Seabrooks.
Many of those who showed up to show their support knew and worked with Seabrooks and the Paterson Healing Collective, which hosted the event. The program provides support and intervention for survivors of violence.
Seabrooks was also trained in violence intervention.
"A lot of people that probably wouldn't be together are here, that were good with him, that loved him. They put their differences aside to come here for this basketball game," said crisis intervention coordinator Jason Davis.
Seabrooks worked along with tournament co-founder Kashif Slevy.
"Me and Najee thought of this years ago to try to stem the violence. The tournament never happened while he was alive," Slevy said. "Basketball is his everything."
"It also honors what he wanted to do. He wanted to bring the city together," Davis said.
Those who worked with Seabrooks said he had a mission of bringing together families from different neighborhoods.
"People all over the community, not just up the hill, down the hill, first ward, second ward," said Seabrooks' supervisor Teddie Martinez.
The Paterson Healing Collective hopes to continue Seabrooks' legacy by bringing everyone together each year.
"Najee, right now, would be happy. He wouldn't be doing this interview right now. He would be playing," Slevy said.


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