Tom Perry’s Youth Basketball Tournament held

Terecia Wilson for The Newberry Observer
Police Chief Roy McClurkin lines up his next shot during a halftime competition. - Elyssa Haven | For The Newberry Observer
City Parks and Recreation staff Johnnie Caldwell and Oswaldo Tapia along with Police Chief Roy McClurkin volunteered to run the scoreboards during the Tournament. - Elyssa Haven | For The Newberry Observer
City Councilman Lemont Glasgow prepares to shoot. - Elyssa Haven | For The Newberry Observer
City Patrolman Dustin Shaw plans his next move. - - Elyssa Haven | For The Newberry Observer
The Young Life table filled with information and goodies during the Tournament. - - Andrew Wigger | The Newberry Observer
Students get into the game as the Tournament continues. - - Andrew Wigger | The Newberry Observer
Cole Harper getting blocked by a student. - - Andrew Wigger | The Newberry Observer
A student goes for a dunk. - - Andrew Wigger | The Newberry Observer
Preparing for anything that comes his way. - - Andrew Wigger | The Newberry Observer
John Lesaine acted as the head referee during the Tournament. - - Andrew Wigger | The Newberry Observer
Time to decide where to send the ball. - - Andrew Wigger | The Newberry Observer
Students getting to play neck and neck with leaders in the community. - - Andrew Wigger | The Newberry Observer
Passing the ball before the opponent can take it. - - Andrew Wigger | The Newberry Observer
Students and adults came to win. - - Andrew Wigger | The Newberry Observer
Making his way down the court. - - Andrew Wigger | The Newberry Observer

NEWBERRY — On Saturday, the Newberry County Drug Free Communities Coalition on Underage Drinking hosted the Second Annual Law Enforcement and Youth Community Basketball Tournament in the Eleazer Arena at Newberry College.

In a day filled with excitement and enthusiasm, the event brought together about a hundred middle and high school students, ages 11-18 from across Newberry County, along with over 50 local law enforcement officers, adult community leaders, educators and business leaders to play games of five-on-five on the half court, with four students and one law enforcement officer and adult community leader on each team. The Coalition partnered with the City of Newberry’s Department of Parks and Recreation, Newberry College and the Newberry County YMCA to host the event. Sponsors for the event included: Westview Behavioral Health Services, Joe Trainor/Stokes Trainor, and Whitakers Floor Coverings.

According to Hugh Gray Jr., executive director of Westview Behavioral Health Services, which sponsors the Coalition, the idea for the Tournament came from work done by former Coalition Coordinator Tom Perry, who passed away last year.

“Tom did an outstanding job working with youth in our community, he suggested a basketball Tournament as a means to improve communications with law enforcement and strengthen our community. Tom got the proverbial ‘ball rolling’ and put together a planning committee of Coalition members and Westview staff to coordinate the event,” Gray said. “To honor Tom’s memory and his work, we are continuing to call this event the “Tom Perry’s Better Together Law Enforcement and Youth Basketball Tournament.”

The tournament included teams for middle school-age boys, middle school girls, high school girls and high school boys. There were twelve teams formed for these age groups, with students coming from Mid-Carolina Middle School, Mid-Carolina High School, Newberry Middle School, Newberry High School, Whitmire Community School and Newberry Academy. High school boys comprised the largest age group in the event, with fifteen teams registered. “And the exciting part,” according to Tournament Coordinator Collin Shealy, “was that we had officers from the Newberry City Police Department and the Newberry County Sheriff’s Office; teachers, coaches and principals from schools across the county; and numerous adult community leaders and volunteers that came together to play.”

The Tournament was played on the campus of Newberry College. In addition to sharing its facilities, both the Newberry College Men’s and Women’s basketball teams joined in to help. The members of these college teams ran drills with students during warm-ups, and served as student coaches for the teams. Throughout the event, some of the members of the college teams also joined in to play. Men’s Basketball Coach Dave Davis was the keynote speaker for the Lunch Program, and gave a motivational talk to the students participating.

Games for the middle school students and the high school girls began at 10 a.m., with two games underway simultaneously on each half court. Games for high school boys began after lunch.

Local law enforcement officers playing in the Tournament included officers from the Newberry City Police Department and the Newberry County Sheriff’s Office.

“This event is an excellent avenue for our officers to get to know the youth of our community on a personal level,” said Chief Roy McClurkin. “We want students to know that we are here to help and support them, regardless of the circumstances. I am proud of our officers who took their personal time to play in the Tournament.”

During the Lunch Program, McClurkin and Sheriff Lee Foster had a a “Free-Throw Shoot-Out,” to see who could get the most free throw shots in a short period of time. They were assisted by the Newberry College Men’s Basketball Team. Foster was this year’s champion.

“We both had a lot of fun doing this, and I think the crowd enjoyed watching the competition. We both did our best, but we’re not quite ready for the Final Four yet,” Foster said. “This event is so very important to our community. It was wonderful to see our entire community come together to support these students and enjoy a day of real fun and fellowship. That’s how we build real ‘CommUnity,’ by coming together at events like this.”

To make the event fun for everyone, the Tournament Planning Committee worked to secure door prizes from area merchants. These prizes included a wide variety of goodies, from pizza gift cards to YMCA memberships.

The Tournament also included a vendor area for youth-oriented organizations and other community groups. Vendors included Young Life, the Newberry High School Youth Coalition, MSA Hospice and Home Health, the Newberry County Career Center, Piedmont Technical College, Newberry College Admissions Office, the YMCA, and First Baptist Church of Newberry.

In addition to numerous community volunteers helping with on-site check-in for students, adult players, adult volunteers, and spectators, the event drew on the resources of other community members to help coordinate warm-ups in MacLean Gymnasium and in Eleazer Arena. McClurkin and Johnnie Caldwell with the City of Newberry ran the time clocks and kept score throughout the day. Members of the Prosperity Rescue Squad were on hand to provide emergency medical services.

“This event is an outstanding example of what can be accomplished when community members from all segments of the community, law enforcement, educators, and local business leaders come together to support our youth. We had a terrific day, and it was great to see all the smiling faces – everyone was having a good time,” Coalition Coordinator Terecia Wilson said. “Our Planning Team wanted to give these students and adults a fun-filled day, and I believe that was accomplished. We also wanted to let the students know that their community cares about them, and wants to see them grow up to reach their full potential. You don’t need drugs or alcohol to have a good time. Good friends and good fellowship build strong and healthy relationships, and that’s what our Coalition is about – building strong communities that will help our children and youth grow up drug and alcohol free.”

Police Chief Roy McClurkin lines up his next shot during a halftime competition.
https://www.newberryobserver.com/wp-content/uploads/2018/03/web1_DSC07923-1-1-1.jpgPolice Chief Roy McClurkin lines up his next shot during a halftime competition. Elyssa Haven | For The Newberry Observer

City Parks and Recreation staff Johnnie Caldwell and Oswaldo Tapia along with Police Chief Roy McClurkin volunteered to run the scoreboards during the Tournament.
https://www.newberryobserver.com/wp-content/uploads/2018/03/web1_DSC07904-1.jpgCity Parks and Recreation staff Johnnie Caldwell and Oswaldo Tapia along with Police Chief Roy McClurkin volunteered to run the scoreboards during the Tournament. Elyssa Haven | For The Newberry Observer

City Councilman Lemont Glasgow prepares to shoot.
https://www.newberryobserver.com/wp-content/uploads/2018/03/web1_DSC07793-1.jpgCity Councilman Lemont Glasgow prepares to shoot. Elyssa Haven | For The Newberry Observer

City Patrolman Dustin Shaw plans his next move.
https://www.newberryobserver.com/wp-content/uploads/2018/03/web1_DSC07784-1.jpgCity Patrolman Dustin Shaw plans his next move. Elyssa Haven | For The Newberry Observer

The Young Life table filled with information and goodies during the Tournament.
https://www.newberryobserver.com/wp-content/uploads/2018/03/web1_DSC_0613-1.jpgThe Young Life table filled with information and goodies during the Tournament. Andrew Wigger | The Newberry Observer

Students get into the game as the Tournament continues.
https://www.newberryobserver.com/wp-content/uploads/2018/03/web1_DSC_0608-1.jpgStudents get into the game as the Tournament continues. Andrew Wigger | The Newberry Observer

Cole Harper getting blocked by a student.
https://www.newberryobserver.com/wp-content/uploads/2018/03/web1_DSC_0603-1.jpgCole Harper getting blocked by a student. Andrew Wigger | The Newberry Observer

A student goes for a dunk.
https://www.newberryobserver.com/wp-content/uploads/2018/03/web1_DSC_0601-1.jpgA student goes for a dunk. Andrew Wigger | The Newberry Observer

Preparing for anything that comes his way.
https://www.newberryobserver.com/wp-content/uploads/2018/03/web1_DSC_0594-1.jpgPreparing for anything that comes his way. Andrew Wigger | The Newberry Observer

John Lesaine acted as the head referee during the Tournament.
https://www.newberryobserver.com/wp-content/uploads/2018/03/web1_DSC_0592-1.jpgJohn Lesaine acted as the head referee during the Tournament. Andrew Wigger | The Newberry Observer

Time to decide where to send the ball.
https://www.newberryobserver.com/wp-content/uploads/2018/03/web1_DSC_0587-1.jpgTime to decide where to send the ball. Andrew Wigger | The Newberry Observer

Students getting to play neck and neck with leaders in the community.
https://www.newberryobserver.com/wp-content/uploads/2018/03/web1_DSC_0579-1.jpgStudents getting to play neck and neck with leaders in the community. Andrew Wigger | The Newberry Observer

Passing the ball before the opponent can take it.
https://www.newberryobserver.com/wp-content/uploads/2018/03/web1_DSC_0571-1.jpgPassing the ball before the opponent can take it. Andrew Wigger | The Newberry Observer

Students and adults came to win.
https://www.newberryobserver.com/wp-content/uploads/2018/03/web1_DSC_0565-1.jpgStudents and adults came to win. Andrew Wigger | The Newberry Observer

Making his way down the court.
https://www.newberryobserver.com/wp-content/uploads/2018/03/web1_DSC_0554-1.jpgMaking his way down the court. Andrew Wigger | The Newberry Observer

During the Tournament, the adults were having just as much fun as the students.
https://www.newberryobserver.com/wp-content/uploads/2018/03/web1_DSC_0547-1.jpgDuring the Tournament, the adults were having just as much fun as the students. Andrew Wigger | The Newberry Observer

Dell Lever hits the ball away from his opponent.
https://www.newberryobserver.com/wp-content/uploads/2018/03/web1_DSC_0543.jpgDell Lever hits the ball away from his opponent. Andrew Wigger | The Newberry Observer

Wesley Palmore tries to get past his opponent.
https://www.newberryobserver.com/wp-content/uploads/2018/03/web1_DSC_0513.jpgWesley Palmore tries to get past his opponent. Andrew Wigger | The Newberry Observer

Dribbling his way down the court.
https://www.newberryobserver.com/wp-content/uploads/2018/03/web1_DSC_0500.jpgDribbling his way down the court. Andrew Wigger | The Newberry Observer

Tonya Deese-Jeter (Left) and Melissa Mendenhall (right) pose with the Newberry High School mascot.
https://www.newberryobserver.com/wp-content/uploads/2018/03/web1_DSC_0466.jpgTonya Deese-Jeter (Left) and Melissa Mendenhall (right) pose with the Newberry High School mascot. Andrew Wigger | The Newberry Observer

Chief Roy McClurkin (left) and Dustin Phillips (right) pose with the Newberry High School mascot.
https://www.newberryobserver.com/wp-content/uploads/2018/03/web1_DSC_0464.jpgChief Roy McClurkin (left) and Dustin Phillips (right) pose with the Newberry High School mascot. Andrew Wigger | The Newberry Observer

Collin Shealy prepares the bracket.
https://www.newberryobserver.com/wp-content/uploads/2018/03/web1_DSC_0430.jpgCollin Shealy prepares the bracket. Andrew Wigger | The Newberry Observer

The adults and students prepare for a full court game.
https://www.newberryobserver.com/wp-content/uploads/2018/03/web1_DSC_0421.jpgThe adults and students prepare for a full court game. Andrew Wigger | The Newberry Observer

Councilman Travis Reeder participating in the tournament.
https://www.newberryobserver.com/wp-content/uploads/2018/03/web1_DSC_0409.jpgCouncilman Travis Reeder participating in the tournament. Andrew Wigger | The Newberry Observer

While normally on the same side, Melissa Mendenhall and Tonya Deese-Jeter played against each other on Saturday.
https://www.newberryobserver.com/wp-content/uploads/2018/03/web1_DSC_0405.jpgWhile normally on the same side, Melissa Mendenhall and Tonya Deese-Jeter played against each other on Saturday. Andrew Wigger | The Newberry Observer

Lucia Davila and Theresa Halfacre volunteer at the door prizes table.
https://www.newberryobserver.com/wp-content/uploads/2018/03/web1_DSC_0332.jpgLucia Davila and Theresa Halfacre volunteer at the door prizes table. Andrew Wigger | The Newberry Observer

Michelle Long and her daughter Braylen help check people in.
https://www.newberryobserver.com/wp-content/uploads/2018/03/web1_DSC_0318.jpgMichelle Long and her daughter Braylen help check people in. Andrew Wigger | The Newberry Observer

Players ready to catch the ball when it comes down.
https://www.newberryobserver.com/wp-content/uploads/2018/03/web1_kedit2.jpgPlayers ready to catch the ball when it comes down. Andrew Wigger | The Newberry Observer

Deciding where to shoot the ball.
https://www.newberryobserver.com/wp-content/uploads/2018/03/web1_DSC_0400.jpgDeciding where to shoot the ball. Andrew Wigger | The Newberry Observer

Sheriff Lee Foster gets ready for the halftime competition against Chief Roy McClurkin. Foster won with a score of 3-0.
https://www.newberryobserver.com/wp-content/uploads/2018/03/web1_DSC_0473.jpgSheriff Lee Foster gets ready for the halftime competition against Chief Roy McClurkin. Foster won with a score of 3-0. Andrew Wigger | The Newberry Observer

Everyone goes for the ball at once.
https://www.newberryobserver.com/wp-content/uploads/2018/03/web1_kedit1.jpgEveryone goes for the ball at once. Andrew Wigger | The Newberry Observer

Deciding how to get to the other side.
https://www.newberryobserver.com/wp-content/uploads/2018/03/web1_DSC_0403.jpgDeciding how to get to the other side. Andrew Wigger | The Newberry Observer

Members of the Planning Committee for the Tom Perry’s Law Enforcement and Youth Basketball Tournament stand with Donna Perry (center).
https://www.newberryobserver.com/wp-content/uploads/2018/03/web1_DSC_0621.jpgMembers of the Planning Committee for the Tom Perry’s Law Enforcement and Youth Basketball Tournament stand with Donna Perry (center). Andrew Wigger | The Newberry Observer

Terecia Wilson for The Newberry Observer