Courtesy of the Negaunee Invitational Basketball Tournament
The Negaunee Invitational Basketball Tournament is accepting entries into the women’s division, which is going to be played the weekend of March 30, through April 1, 2012 at Lakeview Memorial Gymnasium.
The entry fee for the tournament is $100 and must be turned in along with the roster on or before Friday, March 9, 2012.
The women’s division made its return last year after a 15 year absence. President of the tournament John Basolo said former Michigan Tech University standout guard and current assistant coach Sarah Stream pushed to get the division back.
“It was all Sarah Stream that got this going and we have to give her our credit,” Basolo said. “She guaranteed six teams but was able to round up eight. Hopefully we’ll get some more this year.”
Stream is from Westwood, MI and according to board member Dane Nelson her local ties helped to get quality competition in the tournament.
“Sarah really helped us out because she has connections with Division II athletes in Wisconsin, NMU and at Michigan Tech,” Nelson said. “She kind of stepped up and put the feelers out there and we got a good response so we went ahead with it.”
Stream said she remembers watching the tournament growing up but was never old enough to participate. After her college career ended she wanted to give others the chance to play.
“There’s a lot (of tournaments) for girls who are playing high school or AAU but as far as people who are done with their playing careers there’s not a lot available, so it’s nice to have it around and its fun,” Stream said.
Last year the women’s division had participants from multiple Division II colleges and a player from the University of Michigan. Nelson said the tournament hopes to boost two divisions this year, in accordance to talent levels.
“That’s kind of our goal right now,” Nelson said. “Too get two competitive divisions with girls that have played college ball and girls that haven’t so it kind of evens out. Our attendance for the girl’s weekend was some of the highest we had for the whole month, so the community seemed to enjoy it.”
All entries are guaranteed to get at least two games. If a team loses its first game they will play in a consolation bracket. Trophies are rewarded to the championship team and for the division’s MVP.
“We’ll probably put the teams with the most experience in the top brackets and the one’s that have the least experience, or haven’t played in awhile, in the lower bracket,” Basolo said.
Online entries are available at www.negauneeinvitational.com. For more information contact President John Basolo at 906-458-6419 or at firstname.lastname@example.org.
“It’s really important,” Stream said. “I think it draws some fans with having good players and I think the fans will be very excited about coming to watch these players and a lot of them are local and a lot of them are from the U.P.”