The graceful 6-foot-8 youngster from Brewster Academy in New Hampshire was on a fast track to the NBA with a stop in between at the University of Richmond, where he had earned a full basketball scholarship after leading Brewster to the New England State Championship in his senior year. Trey Whitfield loved the round ball game as well as baseball, the theater and other culture programs offered at Brewster. Nonetheless, basketball was his real love.

The very last time we saw Trey was at the Colonel Young playground at 145th Street and Lenox Avenue in Harlem. He was sitting on a bench, wiping the sweat off his goggles. Kenny Anderson was standing over him as they waited for the game to begin at the Holcombe Rucker Memorial Summer League. Trey and Kenny were quite a twosome that summer, hitting the courts around the city–Anderson, the All-American guard from Georgia Tech and an NBA All-Star, and Whitfield, a rebounding machine.

Fast-forward to Trey’s senior year at Brewster, his graduation a couple of days in front of him. To make a long story short, Trey was in a boating accident and lost his life saving a friend from drowning. In his memory, his parents, A.B. Whitfield and Janie Whitney, founded the Trey Whitfield Foundation. For the past 18 years, this being the 19th, the foundation has presented 12 scholastic scholarships in Trey’s memory to young academic achievers. This year’s presentation took place on Friday, June 22 at the El Caribe Country Club in Brooklyn.

The young academic achievers will share the evening with adult achievers Darryl Strawberry of the Mets and Yankees, NFL official Wayne Mackie, Len “Truck” Robinson of the Knicks, Newark Mayor Cory Booker and other adult achievers. For more info, email twf@whitfieldfoundation.org or call (718) 342-7222, ext. 301.