Curtis Cotton Jr.’s legacy continues to live on at Rangeview High School in the form of the annual Curtis Cotton Memorial 3-on-3 Basketball Tournament, which is set for Saturday.
The fourth annual tournament is played in honor of the late Curtis Cotton Jr. — aka “Chilli” — a 2004 Rangeview graduate who died on May 7, 2010, at the age of 23 from injuries suffered in a single-car accident on I-225.
Rangeview boys basketball coach Shawn Palmer said 13 high school teams — which include players from Aurora schools Rangeview, Cherokee Trail, Smoky Hill and Regis Jesuit, plus Dakota Ridge and Valor Christian — have entered as of Thursday, while five middle school teams will compete in the youth bracket.
There are a few less teams entered than in 2014 according to Palmer.
Games in the tournament run 20 minutes with running clocks. Winners are the first team to 21 points or whoever is ahead when time expires. Each team plays three pool play matches and all teams advance to a single elimination playoff.
The tournament tips off at 9 a.m., with an awards ceremony planned for 3 p.m.
In 2004, Rangeview put out its list of top 30 boys basketball players of all-time — a list put together by the only two head boys basketball coach in school history, Palmer and his predecessor Terry Taylor Sr. — which included Cotton Jr., an explosive 6-foot-3 guard, who ranks fourth on Rangeview’s all-time scoring list with 1,036 points scored between 2000-04.
He averaged 25.2 points per game for the Raiders as a senior in the 2003-04 season, in which he made the starting five of the Aurora Sentinel’s All-City Boys Basketball Team and also played in The Show All-Star Game at Pepsi Center as part of the top 20 players in the state.
Cotton Jr. went on to play two years at Western Nebraska and one at New Mexico Highlands. He had been accepted into Johnson & Wales University in Denver.
— Sports Editor Courtney Oakes