Darius Slay was just about everything on Easter Weekend.
The former Brunswick Pirate and Detroit Lions cornerback played host and pseudo-D.J. for his annual Big Play Slay basketball tournament, he played Easter Bunny during Saturday afternoon’s Easter egg hunt and he led the prayer to bless the afternoon cookout.
The only thing Slay didn’t do was actually play basketball. He justified prioritizing administration over participation.
“If I play, I automatically win,” he said.
The past Easter weekend was the fifth edition of Slay’s community event at Selden Park. Local players entered into the 5-on-5 basketball tournament and played games throughout Friday afternoon and all day Saturday. “Team Young” emerged as this year’s champion.
Slay, who lives in Detroit during the offseason, said he went to work as the tournament host on Friday when he arrived in Brunswick.
The NFL defensive back hardly had a moment to himself, surrounded by friends, fans and family as he hustled between the field and the gymnasium where the tournament was ongoing.
“Just trying to change some lives and really help some kids out,” Slay said. “We’re all just trying to have fun and enjoy these moments. That’s what it’s all about.”
The tournament and cookout were open to the entire community in an effort, Slay said, to give back to his hometown.
“It’s been a great atmosphere,” Slay said. “Enjoying my time, and showing love to my hometown.”
Slay was a 2009 graduate of Brunswick High. He went on the play college football at Mississippi State. Slay has been a Detroit Lion since the franchise drafted him with the 36th overall pick in the second round of the 2013 NFL Draft.
Slay played and started in 13 games for Detroit, intercepting two passes in the 2016 season. Slay was battling a hamstring injury for part of the season.