YMCA Hoopfest deadline drawing near

Published 5:44 pm Tuesday, March 27, 2018

By J.R. Tidwell / Managing Editor

The YMCA of Chilton County will be hosting a basketball tournament, dubbed the YMCA Hoopfest, Saturday, April 14.

It will be a co-ed basketball tournament to benefit the YMCA’s summer camp.

A cash prize will be awarded to the top three teams in the tournament: $500 for first place, $300 for second and $200 for third.

The entry fee is $15 per player, and each team must have a minimum of five players but may have as many as the group prefers. Players must be 16 years of age or older.

The deadline for entry into the event is March 31. To enter, text or call Laura Vinzant at (205) 910-3717. Entry fees are due by the start of the event.

Last spring, Vinzant, an Auburn global studies student, organized a basketball tournament at the Y to benefit a nonprofit called Community Empowerment for Rural Development, or CEFORD for short, in Uganda.

“People get bored in Clanton, and I knew people would pay $15 to play basketball, especially with cash prizes available,” Vinzant said. “I figured that was the most effective way to raise money.”

Chilton County YMCA Director Lori Patterson then asked Vinzant to put together another tournament this year to benefit the Y.

“A lot of my buddies and I are always looking for a place to play basketball,” Vinzant said. “That’s why I decided to put together the tournament. I am from Clanton, and I knew Lori. The Y seemed like a good, central location in Chilton County to have it.”

Vinzant said last year’s event had nine teams and raised $1,500 for CEFORD.

“It went well,” she said. “For our first year, I think it turned out well. We had a couple of local businesses donate cash prizes, so that didn’t have to come out of the tournament fee money.”

So far this year, only three teams have registered for the event, though Vinzant said something similar happened last year with several groups entering the contest at the last minute.

“I am hoping some people are waiting until closer to the deadline to sign up,” she said. “We are shooting for 12 teams this year.”