A basketball tournament held in the memory of a teenager who died suddenly was won by his former team in front of nearly a hundred close friends and family.

Denis Leramo, who would have turned 20 on Monday (June 1), collapsed after suffering a suspected heart attack on Cathall Bridge in Leytonstone on September 30 last year.

Mr Leramo, described as a “gentle giant” at 6ft 6ins, led basketball classes at Elmhurst Primary in Forest Gate and Chingford Primary School, and played for local team Eastside Eagles.

Dozens turned out to watch a the tournament on Saturday (June 6) in Langthorne Park, at the courts where Denis would spend the majority of his summer hanging out with friends.

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The mothers of Denis's schoolfriends have rallied around the family.

His mother Christine Ladoja, organised the event with the help of 13 mothers of Denis’s friends and Friends of Langthorne Park.

She said: “Everyone has come together for this sincere, honest human being.

“I have had such wonderful support you can see how he touched so many people.

“Even though he was my son I never saw him angry he liked to bring people together. He is smiling down on us for sure.

“It was horrible what happened, to lose a son, it was a disaster. But today I realise he was well loved by everyone, not just me.

Connor Michael-Ives knew Denis since his mother Adrienne looked after him when he was a baby.

“When I saw the court this morning I did get emotional but it is not a sad day, you can see the smile on everyone’s faces," he said.

“He wouldn’t want it to be sad.

“Denis was humble and funny but he could be lazy sometimes he was always putting stuff off until tomorrow.

“I miss him. I know he wouldn’t want all this attention.”

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Connor Michael-Ives knew Denis since they were both babies

His mother, Adrienne added: “He was a beautiful, kind boy, a son to be proud of. I think he would be overwhelmed by today.”

Jack Matthews, 20, was close friends with Denis since Year 7 at Buxton School, said the turn-out showed the impact Denis had on people.

“He was the funniest guy I ever met”, he said.

“I don’t know many people who wear their heart on their sleeve, but Denis definitely did he was honest. I didn’t realise that until he was gone.

“It’s great that we had it here because we would be on this court all summer.

“It’s where he grew up and he would love this.

“We are such a close group of friends, if I didn’t have them I wouldn’t have anyone to talk to about him.

“We just miss his jokes.

“He was so proud of working in the school. One day he got loads of cards from the kids to say thank you and he couldn’t wait to show us.”

His former teammates shouted Denis’s name at the end of the team talk for each game.

The biggest cheer of the day was saved for Christina, Denis’s mother, who scored a basket in the mum’s game.

“Wow. Mums are strong”, the commentator said as the crowd erupted.

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Close friend Jack Matthews.

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The Eastside Eagles, Denis's former teammates, won the tournament.

Eastside Eagles finish a great team move with a slam dunk.