BECKLEY, WV (WVNS) — New River Community and Technical College created the invitational three years ago as a single day shootout between a handful of local teams.
Now in its third year, the tournament includes 20 teams from across the state, giving most players their first chance to showcase their talent in a tournament since the pandemic began.
“Last year it was two days and this year it is up to four and we are just so excited that even in covid we are able to have this tournament,” said Dr. Bonny Copenhaver, the president of NRCTC.
The tournament was originally scheduled to take place in January of 2021. NRCTC Executive director of institutional advancement, Michael green, was determined to reschedule as soon as possible. While his mind is on making sure his Independence Patriots perform well, he said he is happy the tournament is taking place at all.
“I’m so happy with the participation we have had not only from teams, but the community, our sponsorships, it has been amazing working through the postponements and so forth being able to kick it off,” said Green.
The tournament’s main purpose is to provide one scholarship for each team in the tournament to give to one of their players.
“It really is a great way for New River to talk about who we are and let the community know we are investing in these students,” said Dr. Copenhaver.
Green said the tournament is not possible without support of the community.
“There were 70 sponsors this year and we couldn’t do it with out them for sure,” said Green.
With some of the top teams in the state coming to Beckley for the weekend, Green believed the tournament gives right back to the community.
“It is going to be an economic boost, not only for the area, but for restaurants and hotels and so forth,” said Green.
The second day of the tournament is Thursday, April 1, 2021. Independence takes on James Monroe at 4:30 p.m. Westside plays their first game against the Greenbrier West Cavaliers at 6:15 p.m. To finish out the night, Wyoming East matches up with Greenbrier East at 8:00 p.m.