Memorial tourney honors late Pullman basketball star

The winner of the 2021 A.J. Miles Memorial basketball tournament was Team A.J. This year’s tournament starts Friday at Pi-Nee-Was Community Center gym in Lapwai.

As preparations conclude for the second AJ Miles Memorial Tournament to be at Lapwai’s Pi-Nee-Waus Community Center Friday through Sunday, memories of the event’s late namesake weigh heavy on the minds of his family and friends.

Miles died three years ago of a fentanyl overdose. He was 23 years old, and was survived in his immediate family by parents, Julie and Aaron, older sisters, Selina and Celilo, and younger brother, James.

“My siblings and I all grew up playing basketball, whether it was AAU or going to res tourneys or playing on reservations,” Celilo Miles said. “Basketball’s always been a part of our lives, from the time we were children and into adulthood. My family thought the best way to honor him was to put on a basketball tournament.”

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