Monday, August 03, 2020
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FIMBA USA Spotlight: Buffalo’s Peter Durham

A smiling Peter Durham on left wearing powder blue ball cap.




His powder blue sweat suit made him easy to spot from anywhere in the cavernous University of Buffalo Alumni Arena.


His tireless work ethic also made it easier for those who ever participated in his 22nd annual Buffalo Masters Basketball Tournament to recognize and appreciate what he’s built for so many to enjoy each year.


And, his gentle spirit and genuine desire to welcome 600+ players and 62 teams made him the truly respected organizer of one of America’s top senior sports events.


I can confidently write the above because I patiently waited just off the main court to speak with a very busy Peter Durham on Day 2 of his annual Buffalo tournament.


Standing fourth in line, I quietly observed Durham juggle cell phone calls and answer a multitude of unrelated questions.


In addition, I watched him methodically schedule radio interviews and encourage scores of tournament workers to adhere to an already impossibly tight schedule while attempting to solve a myriad of unforeseen challenges that had arisen at this super-competitive and extremely well organized masters basketball event.


All the while, the guy wearing the powder blue warm-up sported a soft smile and an unparalleled desire for excellence. Both were evident for all to witness, and that’s why so many men return to his event each spring.


Peter Durham personifies the spirit of what he endeavored to create when he envisioned his tournament back in the 1980’s.


The upstate New York businessman started the Buffalo Masters Basketball Tournament because he saw the need for a marquee event for talented basketball players who loved the sport and wanted to play against the best available players their age.


A once decorated masters track and field athlete, Durham recognized the rich masters basketball heritage in Buffalo that his friend Charlie Mancuso started more than 30 years ago. He purposed to organize his first tournament and pledge whatever money the tourney earned to the University of Buffalo Athletic Department.


Now 22 years later, a grateful 72 year-old Durham attributes the Buffalo Masters success to loyal, hard working friends and colleagues who have supported his vision as well as the untold players who have made the trek to Buffalo each March.


Plus, Durham knew that if created a safe basketball environment that fostered a caring community on and off the court, the tournament would grow organically. The esprit decor that the event engenders is noticeable as soon as you arrive on the University of Buffalo campus.


For those like me who travel a great distance and risk the possibility of an early spring storm in Buffalo in March, it’s worth the journey.


And, we all have Peter Durham – or the man in the powder blue sweat suit - to thank for making it happen.


To learn more about the 2015 FIMBA World championships in Orlando, FL, contact FIMBA USA Rep Jim Sweeney at This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it .

Article written by Jim Sweeney - FIMBA USA Rep

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