MARINE CORPS AIR STATION CHERRY POINT N.C. --
The 2010 Holiday Basketball Tournament, held at Cherry Point’s Marine Dome Dec. 10-12, brought in approximately 600 athletes and spectators – some traveling from as far as Maryland to participate in a three-day basketball tournament and contribute toward a holiday food and toy fund.
The 10 male and eight female teams were made up of all varsity players from Army, Air Force and Marine Corps installations, like Cherry Point’s own male varsity basketball team, as well as teams made up of military, non-military, high school and college athletes.
“Some of these players boast semi-professional standing or have the potential to become pro,” said Master Gunnery Sgt. Christopher A. Williams, coach of the Big B’s, a locally sponsored team made up of military, civilian and college athletes from the Carolinas.
One local star of the tournament was John Humphreys, also known as Helicopter, who scored 59 points in the semi final game for the Big B’s.
“This tournament was a great opportunity for them to come out and play some good competitive basketball, while also contributing to a charitable event,” added Williams.
By the tournament’s end, four large boxes were filled with toys and food items, which were donated by individual players and their accompanying fans.
“The toys and food items that we collected during the tournament will all go to local needy families during the holiday season,” said Zachary J. Leingang, Marine Corp Community Services’ Semper Fit varsity coordinator. “Each year, we put on the Holiday Basketball Tournament to give athletes the chance to play some good ball, while also doing something to serve the local community.”
The top teams of the 2010 Holiday Basketball Tournament were awarded trophies after the final match-ups.
The Big B’s won first place for the male category and Fort Lee, Va., took top honors for the female category.
“It feels great to win,” said Williams. “But it feels even better to bring Christmas cheer to those who need it the most.”