Basketball Tournament canceled after 50 years

NEGAUNEE, Mich. –  Negaunee Basketball, Inc. announced it will be disbanding, effective immediately, and has already dispersed all remaining funds into community organizations and scholarships.

“We’ve had a great 50-year run, and it’s bittersweet,” tournament director John Basolo said. “The committee thanks the volunteers, players and fans who made this a successful event throughout the years.”

The organization has put on the Negaunee Invitational Basketball Tournament at Lakeview Memorial Gymnasium, a month-long event, with a core group of less than 10 people for decades. More than 100 teams from the local area and the Midwest participated in the tournament each year.

“Our volunteers are wonderful and dedicated, but the reality is that we’re small in numbers and just not able to put on that quality of an event anymore,” Basolo said. “We’re tired, and rather than see the quality of the event decline, we’ve decided to go out on a high note.”

Over the years, the tournament has raised money and given it back to the community, including thousands of dollars to the Negaunee school systems and other school-related causes and scholarships each year.

Basolo and his wife Terry, who were home to “NIT central,” were honored at the 50th anniversary celebration during the 2014 Class A weekend festivities after more than 35 years of volunteer service to the organization.

“We thank Charter Communications, Fox Negaunee, The Screened Image and the dozens of other local businesses who helped make this event possible every year, as well as the Negaunee Public Schools,” Basolo said. “Without them, we wouldn’t have been able to put on such a quality event.”

(Courtesy: Negaunee Basketball, Inc.)