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With a pow­er­ful de­sire to ho­n­our late Guyanese bas­ket­baller An­drew Ifill, friends and fam­i­ly came to­geth­er at the Mal­oney In­door Sports Are­na and played bas­ket­ball match­es in his ho­n­our on Sun­day.

Ifill passed away on Oc­to­ber 20 at the age of 40. His fu­ner­al will take place on Fri­day in his na­tive Guyana. On the week­end though, he was eu­lo­gised by his for­mer coach­es Gor­don "Dread" Fe­lix of De­tour Shak At­tack, who was al­so his em­ploy­er, Christo­pher Jack­son-Charles of Mal­oney Pac­ers and ex-wife Pietra Gay, who al­so coached him when he was a mem­ber of the Roy­al Ex­tra Li­ons bas­ket­ball club.

"He was the same as a bas­ket­baller as he was a per­son," said Gay, T&T's first WN­BA play­er. "Ifill was very pas­sion­ate in every­thing that he put his mind to and he al­ways gives 110 per cent. Very pro­fes­sion­al as a play­er and as a per­son. He showed a lot of love to per­sons, very hum­ble but not on the bas­ket­ball court, he was very fiery and pas­sion­ate and nev­er liked to lose."He was a fierce com­peti­tor, nev­er backed down and hat­ed to lose but was a force to be reck­oned with. Phe­nom­e­nal guy great heart great per­son­al­i­ty and in any­thing that he is do­ing he al­ways gave his all."

Sim­i­lar sen­ti­ments were shared by both Fe­lix and Charles in their re­spec­tive ad­dress to the small crowd gath­ered to cel­e­brate the life of Ifill. With Charles recog­nis­ing the pow­er for­ward as one of the best play­er com­ing out of Guyana. Fe­lix, who linked with Gay along with Na­dine Khan and So­journ­er Hyles to en­sure the memo­r­i­al match was pos­si­ble, added that Ifill helped get his son in­to a high school in the US.

On Sun­day evening, the gath­er­ing was treat­ed to two match­es, first be­tween youth teams of Sto­ries of Suc­cess Bas­ket­ball Acad­e­my and De­tour Shak At­tack. Lat­er the se­nior play­ers from Ifill's for­mer teams and clubs he com­pet­ed against in­clud­ing Na­tion­al Flour Mills, De­fence Force, Strak­er Nets mixed with some of the youth­ful play­ers and formed teams. It was the red team ver­sus the green with all car­ry­ing Ifill's No 7 on their backs. They put on an en­ter­tain­ing show with nei­ther teams con­cerned about the fi­nal score.

Gay too was part of the ex­hi­bi­tion match in ho­n­our of Ifill, who had some of the fam­i­ly in the au­di­ence in­clud­ing his cousin Kelvin Smith.

Though sep­a­rat­ed both stayed in touch, shared Gay who added: "Af­ter he stopped play­ing bas­ket­ball he joined the He­brew com­mu­ni­ty faith — the Broth­er­hood of Is­raelites, and went by name - Ya­hawadah Yasharahla. Af­ter Ifill joined this or­gan­i­sa­tion, he fo­cused on that and gave it his all be­cause once Ifill put his mind to some­thing he's go­ing to stay the course and he's go­ing to fin­ish what he start­ed. As a bas­ket­ball play­er, it was the same thing and as a per­son. So af­ter bas­ket­ball, he joined this faith and fol­low­ing the course that God gave him which he told me."

Arrange­ments are be­ing made to trans­port Ifill back home to his na­tive Guyana with the as­sis­tance from the Roy­al Ex­tra Li­ons fam­i­ly.

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