When Macy Chenevert passed away, her parents Becky and Steve were told they wouldn’t know how many lives Macy touched until years have passed.
Now seven years after Macy’s death to Ewing’s sarcoma at the age of 14, people still come up to the Cheneverts to tell them how Macy inspired them.
Starting this year, Macy’s life will affect an even greater number of people with the merger of two basketball tournaments.
The Macy Chenevert Classic, played at Bishop Gorman’s Haddad Gym since 2009, will merge with the larger Cougar Patriot Holiday Tournament, which Jeff Smith, then the Grace Community athletic director, created six years ago.
When Smith made the switch to become the Gorman AD this past spring, Smith opted to keep the Patriot Tournament going from his new post. Adding Macy’s name to the title was an easy choice.
“Today we’re celebrating the merger of two really good things that have been going on for a while and making it one really great thing,” Smith said at a luncheon announcing the tournament Thursday at UT Tyler.
Macy Chenevert was an inspirational eighth-grader who never missed a game or practice, even while undergoing chemotherapy for terminal cancer.
No matter how sick she got, Macy was determined to battle on and led Gorman’s eighth-grade team in scoring.
“Really what I think her legacy really is is her dedication and her commitment to her team,” Becky Chenevert said.
That legacy lives on with the Macy Chenevert Patriot Holiday Tournament, which this year features 14 girls high school basketball teams. Gorman highlights a field that includes Grace, Robert E. Lee, John Tyler, Liberty-Eylau, Longview and Lindale.
Played at UT Tyler’s Herrington Patriot Center, there will be 24 games in the tournament from Dec. 27-29. The championship game is slated for 2:30 p.m. on Saturday, Dec. 29.
The Cheneverts are frequent spectators of the Lady Crusaders and have grown close to the team and coach Katie Robertson.
“We had one daughter; we had an only child, that was Macy,” Becky Chenevert said. “Now we feel like we have a bunch of girls, because those are just like our daughters too, so that’s special.”
It’s special for the Lady Crusaders, too.
“They go all out to support us and the team so I appreciate that,” Robertson said. “I think that’s a testimony to why Macy was so amazing … she had amazing parents that raised her and valued her so much.”
Robertson uses Macy’s story as motivation for her team, including listing off the effects of chemo to her team before a game in the Macy Chenevert Classic.
“(It) puts it back in perspective of how working hard is a privilege and it’s not an obligation, and how we’re lucky to be able to play this game and to not take it for granted,” she said.
Smith added that it’s rare to find a young lady with such a passion for basketball and said it’s an honor to be able to give tribute to her legacy.
“It’s really bittersweet,” Steve Chenevert said of the tournament. “There’s the sadness of losing a child but there’s the sweetness of seeing people come together and celebrate her life and to celebrate her courage and determination.”