Local sporting tradition continues in memory of Rachel Minkove


Jeremy Diamond | Special to JT

On Sunday Sept. 4, Tour de Court 2022 raised nearly $60,000 to go toward the Leukemia and Lymphoma Society’s research portfolio.

Community members and tournament participants pose for a group photo at Tour de Court 2022 in Cheswolde. Front row kneeling, second from left: Baltimore Mayor Brandon Scott, holding a bike helmet. Front row standing, second from left: Maryland State Delegate Dalya Attar. (Jeremy Diamond)

What started out in 1995 as an informal neighborhood basketball tournament among friends evolved into an annual fundraiser in memory of Rachel Minkove, who passed away in 2012 at the age of 28 three years after being diagnosed with Hodgkin’s lymphoma.

Under the leadership of her brothers Jon and Sam, the event has raised a total of more than $300,000 in her memory.

36 men and 11 women participated in this year’s men’s and women’s divisions. They were all competing for a Golden Helmet: one of the gold-painted bicycle helmets, inscribed with the names of every tournament winner, which the winning teams keep for a year.

After opening ceremonies at the home Dr. Judah and Judy Minkove in Cheswolde, players hopped on their bikes and rode to designated neighborhood basketball courts for the 3-on-3 basketball tournament. Not only did Baltimore Mayor Brandon Scott, City Councilman Yitzy Schleifer (D – District 5), and State Delegate Dalya Attar (D – District 41) attend the opening ceremony, but Scott and Schleifer also participated in the tournament as well. The mayor’s team made it as far as the men’s championship game before being defeated by the team of Aaron “Ron” Imanoel, Jon Minkove, and David “Steiny” Steinberg. Rikki Stiel Esterson, Stacy Hollander Fuld, and Eden Hariri were the women’s championship winners.

This year’s hosts were Dodi Samuel, Matt Schoenfeld, Jon Rogers, Ari Lichtman, Brian Ponczak, Jana Shoshi Wolf Ponczak, and Jillian Goldberger.

Jon Minkove contributed to this story.

Jeremy Diamond is the author of “Tastemakers: The Legacy of Jewish Entrepreneurs in the mid-Atlantic Grocery Industry” (Amazon and The Ivy Bookshop).

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