Youth basketball tourney raises funds
January 16, 2020
During the first weekend of the new year, 22 teams from all over southwest Washington and northwestern Oregon competed in a local youth basketball tournament organized by a local nonprofit organization for Wahkiakum Class of 2027 Girls Basketball.
Last year, the organization, pleased with the outcome of a much smaller event to raise money for local youth to participate in tournament basketball, decided to set their sights much higher.
There are currently five local teams, boys and girls, from fourth to eighth grade, participating in tournaments, which are costly events for parents.
“We raised more than $700 last year with a small tournament,” Garrett Miller said, “we thought, what if we open this up?”
The money they raised this weekend not only covers the overhead for the event, but will make it possible for youth, regardless of parent’s income, to play in future tournaments, essentially eliminating the cost. The kids are not only having fun, but they are learning a skill, and preparing for high school competition.
And this year, some of the funds will go toward new scoreboards at Wahkiakum High School.
Which means, as Miller said, “everything goes back to the kids.”
On Jan. 4, 19 games were played from 9 a.m. to 8 p.m. The next day, 22 more were played from 8 a.m. to 8 p.m. The games, full court and 40 minutes long, were played at John C. Thomas Middle School and at the high school.
That was a lot of hours, a lot of volunteers, and a lot of dedication from local families. To be specific, that was 14 volunteers for every hour of basketball played.
“In all there were 60 of the most awesome volunteers to donate their time,” Miller said. “They were parents, grandparents, alumni, players, siblings of players, and high school coaches and players.
The event raised about $6,600, according to Miller.
“We hope to make this an ongoing thing so it pays itself forward,” Miller said.
Five teams, including a local 7th/8th grade team, left the tournament in winning Mule t-shirts provided by sponsor Carlson and Sons Logging.
“All the teams seemed to really enjoy our school and our town,” Miller said.
The next tournament is scheduled for February 15 and 16.
Check out the organization’s Facebook page, Wahkiakum Youth Basketball, for more information and pictures.