By Robert Barrett
The men and women’s basketball programs united on Jan. 21 to help raise money for the family of Hector Urias, who was shot in his auto shop on Sept. 8.
Hector Urias was an El Monte businessman who owned and operated Hector Urias Body Shop. He was 47 years old.
Urias was a regular participant in the El Monte Adult Basketball League, where he maintained his relationship with men’s head basketball coach, Rob Rivera. “Myself and two of my assistant coaches had a competitive respect for Hector,” said Rivera.
Coach Rivera had known Urias since high school. “I played against Hector in high school, he was at El Monte High and I was at Schurr,” said Rivera. He approached Athletic Director Al Cone about having a memorial game for Urias. “It was Coach Rivera’s idea, one hundred percent,” said Cone.
To help raise more money at the game, Rivera approached the women’s basketball program. “The women were generous enough to let us use their game,” said Rivera. All the proceeds from the entrance fees to both the men and women’s basketball game would be given to the Urias family.
At the start of the men’s basketball game against Los Angeles Southwest College, a large family showing unity with their blue Urias family shirts entered the gym and sat near mid court.
During halftime, members of the Urias family, including his wife Sandra Urias, met Cone near half court. The crowd inside the gym stood at halftime and showed their support with applause.
Cone gave the family $800, which was raised during both games by combining entrance fees and donations.
Cone spoke about how Urias gave much to the local community. “He was kindness, really a true gentleman,” said Cone. Urias’ family spoke about Hector’s love of basketball.
“He was a great man, 200 to 300 people couldn’t get into the church for his service,” said Rivera.
The investigation of Hector Urias’ death is ongoing.