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Tournament Set To Benefit Former Yonkers Pro Baseball Prospect's Foundation

Yonkers resident and former Oakland Athletics prospect Michael Nolan.
Yonkers resident and former Oakland Athletics prospect Michael Nolan. Photo Credit: MiLB

A memorial basketball tournament is being held in Yonkers to benefit the Michael Nolan Scholarship Fund, founded in the name of the former Oakland Athletics prospect who was fatally shot in a drive-by in 2015.

The Michael Nolan Basketball Tournament will be held beginning at 10 a.m. on Saturday, Feb. 24 at Lincoln High School on Kneeland Avenue in Yonkers. The tournament will consist of a 12 team field and dunk contest. More than 500 people are expected to attend. A softball tournament benefiting the foundation is scheduled for later this year.

Shortly after 12:30 a.m. on Sept. 18, 2015, Nolan was standing outside of his Mercedes outside at the Burger King on Central Park Avenue when six shots rang out of the Toyota Camry being driven by four men, with one of the bullets hitting Nolan in the head.

Nolan was rushed to Jacobi Medical Center in the Bronx, where he was put into a coma before being declared dead on Oct. 9.

The Yonkers Police Department and Westchester County District Attorney’s office launched an investigation that determined that the shooting was “in retaliation for the beating of an individual known to the suspects and related to events that took place during a drag race two nights prior.”

The four men have since been apprehended and are facing multiple charges.

Following his death, Nolan’s family started the Michael Nolan Scholarship Fund, which supplies eight scholarships each year to students who achieve success in the classroom and benefit their community.

Nolan’s organs were donated following his death, saving six peoples’ lives, his brother James, who helped start the scholarship fund, said. He led the charge in the passing of a law that bans drag racing countywide, dubbed the Michael Nolan Law.

For years, drag racing has been an issue for police in Yonkers. Beginning last June, the new legislation passed by the City Council took effect, allowing police to seize vehicles that are used in a race, Mayor Mike Spano said.

More than 1,000 tickets were issued in the city last year, according to police.

Spano stated that this bi-partisan legislation is the first of its kind in Yonkers and in Westchester County to address illegal racing.

"Our main concern is for the safety of our residents,” he said. “Thanks to our City Council, this legislation will help prevent future drag racing on our streets from occurring. We hope that seizing cars immediately we be a serious deterrent to those who participate in this unsafe practice.”

“Michael was an amazing person that was full of life, love to have fun, smart, and had so many more great attributes,” his brother added. “Michael fought extremely hard for his life for three weeks and battled through six brain surgeries but sadly passed away from the injuries. The loss of my brother Michael has not only devastated myself, family, but also has hurt the community.”

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