Bellaire-Yates game to honor player's death

HOUSTON This is a match-up all basketball fans wanted to see this past season - No. 1 Yates High School against top-ranked Bellaire. It didn't happen during the season, but you'll have a chance to see it Wednesday night and help out the family of Tobi Oyedeji. The Bellaire seniors will play the Yates seniors over at Delmar to honor and help a teammate and friend.

"It's not gonna be the same, feel the same, without Tobi with us," said Bellaire High senior Jeremy Hines. "He was the motor of the team."

The game won't have the same feel, but it will be filled with emotion. Oyedeji's senior teammates will square off against the Yates seniors. The game will begin five on four to honor Oyedeji who died Sunday from injuries suffered in a car accident. All of the players in the game will wear Oyedeji's number 35.

"Hopefully everybody will come out and honor Tobi," said Bellaire High senior Jamel Outler. "It's a sad moment, especially for us because we're a whole family over here."

"On the court, we were all enemies because we went to different schools, but off the court we were all cool," said Yates High senior Darveon Trahan. "Tobi was a big part of our family."

"He was one of my teammates on the summer team, so you know playing this game, I'm going to be thinking about him the whole game," said Yates High senior Darius Gardner. "I'll be saying a little prayer before the game for him and his family."

All proceeds from ticket sales to the game are going to help the Oyedeji family. A memorial fund has also been set up in Tobi Oyedeji's name at Amegy Bank.

Because the game falls outside the UIL season, Bellaire High coach Bruce Glover and Yates coach Greg Wise can't coach. But they'll be there for support.

"The competitive juices will get to flowing a little bit, and we'll see where that edge goes. It will be fun," said Coach Glover.

"We're not playing for the name across our jerseys, we're playing for Tobi," said Outler.

The Lions and Cardinals may be rivals on the hardwood, but Wednesday night they play for a friend.

"Oh yea, I think he (Tobi) would have a huge smile. I think he'd actually want to come down and play with us," said Hines. "I think he'd be very excited."

The game starts at 7pm at Delmar. There will be a slam dunk and three-point contest at halftime. Admission price is $5, and all proceeds go to helping out the Oyedeji family with funeral expenses.

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