Carrying on the legacy of Austin Blakey through the game of basketball

Published: Mar. 8, 2023 at 5:02 PM CST
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SIOUX CITY (KTIV) - For those that loved and knew Austin Blakey, they were immediately impacted by his bright energy and love for life.

”You were always laughing when you were with Austin, and he was just a great guy. He could be serious at times and just always knew what to do,” said Caden Lester, Austin Blakey’s friend and teammate.

“His amazing personality just brightened the room anytime he stepped in, and how much she meant so much to our friend group and all that,” said Kaleb LaFavor, Austin Blakey’s friend and teammate.

Austin Blakey’s bright and bubbly personality made a lasting impression on many people’s lives. Blakey passed away this past May, but his memory lives on daily, especially on the basketball court.

“He was a man of faith and really just grew as a person, and just tremendous basketball player. I thought he had a bright future. He wanted to go to Michigan, that was his goal. And he wanted to play basketball. So that was his dream, and he really worked hard,” said Jeff LaFavor, Austin’s former coach and tournament organizer.

Austin would’ve been a freshman at Bishop Heelan Catholic High School this year most likely playing on the basketball team. His friends and teammates say he was always ready to knock down tough shots in clutch moments.

“All of the shots that he made and clutch situations like his half-quarter against Okoboji at the buzzer that won us the game,” said Kaleb LaFavor.

“We kind of all went crazy when Austin made it. We just, we knew he was gonna take the last shot, we kind of just gave him the ball and let him work and he just he made the shot we’re all running after him. And we won the game,” said Lester.

So many people from teachers to friends and teammates have special memories with Austin, so they thought of a way to keep his legacy alive, and it all came back to the game of basketball.

The Austin Blakey 3-on-3 Basketball Tournament will be played St. Patrick’s Day weekend giving boys and girls from 4th-9th grade the chance to have fun on the hardwood. All the proceeds will benefit the We Are Heelan Youth Basketball Organization, a place where Austin developed his love for the game.

“The great thing about it, is it carries on his legacy, and it can help our youth which meant so much to him and his basketball career,” said Kaleb LaFavor.

“It’s about having fun with your friends. And Austin was really a fun player to watch. And it’s just carrying on that message from him of ‘Have fun, play hard,” said Jeff LaFavor.

Organizers and volunteers know his competitive spirit and passion for the game will fill the room come tournament time.

Austin Blakey 3-on-3 Tournament Details:

  • Date: Friday, March 17- Sunday, March 19
  • Location: Bishop Heelan High School and Heelan CYO
  • Participants must register by Friday, March 10.
  • More information on the tournament can be found at this link, or by contacting Jeff LaFavor at (712)-899-4614 or by email at
Austin Blakey taking a free-thrown shot during one of his games.
Austin Blakey taking a free-thrown shot during one of his games.(KTIV)