Hoops in the Sun basketball camp finals played amidst heavy hearts for 'Pops'

(08/22/04) ORCHARD BEACH - The Hoops in the Sun summer basketball league recently held their championship day at Orchard Beach.

There were some heavy hearts at the game because of the death of league co-founder Joe Cruz Sr. or "Pops" as he was known earlier this week. A memorial for Cruz set up at courtside.

Lehman College graduate Joey Cruz Jr. founded the league with his dad. Cruz Jr.'s team "Start'n 5" was renamed "Pops 5" for the day in memory of his father. "Pops 5" took on "TNP" (Take No Prisoners) in the men's championship game. But "TNP" was able to edge out "Pops 5" in a thriller 85-83.

In the youth championship game "The Wiz Kids," with more than half the team from the Bronx, played "The Gotham Reign 1" from Manhattan. "The Wiz Kids" went on to win the youth division final 64-61.

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