SOUTHINGTON â Local children will compete for the 25th year March 25 at the Southington YMCAâs annual 3 on 3 basketball tournament, forming their own teams and shooting for a trophy and to see their names displayed with honor.
The tournament will be held starting at 9 a.m. at the YMCA at 29 High St. More than 200 boys and girls from grades 3 through 8 are expected to participate. A maximum of 16 teams per division or 64 teams or 256 kids can compete. Winners will see their names engraved on a trophy that is prominently displayed at the Southington Y.
âThis is a nice end of season event for kids to get together with friends and see who is the best in their grade,â said Mark Pooler, director of operations at the Southington-Cheshire community YMCA, who founded the event 25 years ago. âIâm really proud that it has endured this long. This is one of the first programs I started when I was 18 years old and there used to be an adult division as well as a slam dunk competition. The 3 on 3 tournament has since become the focus. The kids really get into it and the parents really really get into it, cheering them on from the sidelines. Itâs pretty unique because there are no referees so the kids get to make their own calls.â
Pooler said that the local YMCA starts young with its sports programs. Many participants are those who played sports at the Y when they were 3, 4 or 5 years old. Many have also since gone on to participate in other sports programs in town.
âFor them, itâs a fun chance to come back to the Y and shoot some hoops,â said Pooler. âBut this tournament is also open to non-Y members and for them it is an opportunity to come in and see what weâre all about.â
Nick Charnysh, youth program director, is currently in charge of running the program. He said that he plans to âdo it even biggerâ this year for the 25th anniversary.
âKids who participate have fun throughout the day,â he said. âThey come up with their own team names. This year we have the âBig Baller Brandâ and the âSharpshootersâ, for example, and they get really excited and feel a lot of pride when we announce their teams and call them to the court.â
The third and fourth grade girls and boys divisions will compete starting at 9 a.m., the fifth and sixth grade girls and boys divisions will compete at 11 a.m., the seventh and eighth grade girls and boys divisions will compete at 2 p.m. and the sixth, seventh and eighth grade girlsâ division will compete starting at 4 p.m. the day of the tournament.
Kids can register teams of three or four, with the fourth member being a substitute. There are no try-outs; kids can put together their own teams with friends and have fun.
Pre-registration is required. Registration will be held through March 24 and is $40 per team. To register, visit the front desk of the YMCA located at 29 High St. T-shirts will be provided to teams who register before March 12.
The Southington Youth Basketball Association is a three point sponsor, Gaylord Physical Therapy Orthopedics & Sports Medicine is a Courtside Sponsor and Emendee Technologies is a Free-Throw Sponsor.
For more information, Charnysh at 860-426-9521 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
Brian M. Johnson can be reached at 860-973-1806 or email@example.com.