Players from all city and county schools have been chosen to participate in the event, Feb. 22-24 at Ocoee Middle School and this time around a Harlem Globetrotter will speak to the kids during the opening ceremonies.
Opening ceremonies will begin that Friday evening at 6 with the introduction of the players from each team, followed by special guest speaker Paul "Showtime" Gaffney, who spent 15 years playing for the Globetrotters. A coaches game will follow before the actual tournament games tip off.
Three players from each school’s team were selected to participate and were “drafted” by the event’s coaches, with none of the players from the same school placed on the same tournament team.
“The idea of this tournament is to take city kids and county kids and intermingle them on teams,” explained event coordinator Bartlee Norton. “There are 17 total schools within the Bradley County recreation department leagues. These kids have played against one another in the leagues, but the ideal of this event is for them to be able to play with one another.”
There are four divisions of play in the event (girls and boys teams in the second and third grade, plus fourth- and fifth-grade divisions) with four teams in each bracket.
“Altogether, we will have 198 kids running through this tournament,” related Norton. “We are also asking that anyone who has photos from last year’s tournament upload them to the Bradley County Youth Basketball All-Stars Facebook page. We will be adding photos from this year’s event as we go along. They could also email the photos to firstname.lastname@example.org.”
The double-elimination tournament will wrap up with the semifinals and championship games on Sunday, Feb. 24, beginning at 12:30 p.m.