On Saturday night a special event will be hosted to help raise funds for a local teenager battling a second bout of cancer.

“Once we realized he’d been re-diagnosed we wanted to try and help somehow,” said Covington Parks and Recreation Director Joe Mack.


Jackson Hughey’s Ballers Challenge is modeled after the Jr. NBA Skills Challenge for children 13 and under, but will be open to anyone over 14 who would like to compete in the Skills Challenge, 3 Point Contest or both.

The event was already being planned as a fundraiser for Drug Free Tipton, but the news that the Covington High School junior’s cancer had returned changed things.

“We know he’s a big sports fan and we said we’d like to do this for him, and have the proceeds go to him, and Drug Free Tipton agreed,” Mack said. “We wanted to give them a night of sports entertainment and we wanted to give them a night where they can come out and not have to worry about anything.”

The competition will be organized into four categories: 14-17 male, 14-17 female, 18+ male and 18+ female.

Prizes and swag have been donated from the Memphis Grizzlies and ticket vouchers donated by the Memphis Redbirds and Memphis 901 FC.

The Grizzlies are also donating a jersey signed by power forward Jaren Jackson Jr. and a basketball signed by either Jackson or Ja Morant, the explosive point guard named Rookie of the Month this week for the third straight month. Mack plans to auction these items off, the proceeds benefitting the Hughey family.

The cost to attend is a $2 donation at the door.

The cost to compete is $10 per event or $17 for both.

The event will take place at the Covington Sportsplex, which is located at 790 Bert Johnston Avenue in Covington. It begins at 6 p.m.

“We’re trying to get the word out so people will come out,” Mack said. “My hope is the community will come out and support the Hugheys.”

Echo Day
Author: Echo Day

Echo Day is an award-winning journalist, photographer and designer. She is currently The Leader's managing editor.