Optimist Club bringing back basketball competition
Event scheduled for Saturday at 8:45 a.m. at RHS gym
OJ Stapleton Editor
The Logan County Optimists Club is reviving an old tradition this weekend as it brings back the Tri-Star Basketball Contest and Clinic.
The event was held for several years before the Logan County Optimists Club disbanded. But now that the club is back up and running, it is also bringing back the Tri-Star Basketball Contest.
“Russellville has not done this the past few years due to manpower,” said Marie Gamble, who is the chairperson for the event. “But now we are reviving the Optimists Club and getting our name back out there, it was known for a period.”
The clinic and contest will be held at Russellville High School this Saturday morning. Registration will begin at 8:45 a.m. and the clinic will begin at 9 and last about an hour. The clinic will be followed by the basketball contest, which consists of dribbling, passing and shooting drills.
“Parents are very welcome to stay and watch everything,” Gable said.
There are three different age groups for the contest. Ages 8-9, 9-10 and 11-12. The top boy and girl in each age group will qualify for the district competition, which will be Feb. 6 in London.
“The event this weekend in Russellville is completely free,” Gamble said. “And the local Optimist Club will make sure the entry fee for the winners in the district competition is taken care of.”
Also, Gamble said that the local group will help with any travelling expenses for going to the district competition in February.
The clinic portion of the day is unique to Russellville.
“Most clubs just have the competition, but years ago, we used to have Western Kentucky coach Clem Haskins come down with the Toppers and they would do a clinic to go along with it,” Gamble said. “We decided to do that again - just with our own local celebrities.”
Russellville High School Athletic Director Nathan Thompson and Logan County High School girls’ basketball coach Finley Woodard will be joined by Russellville High School boys’ basketball coach Phil Todd, Jae Allison and Gracie Mason of the Givin’ Back children’s program and former RHS Lady Panther and WKU Lady Topper Stacie Gamble.
“Nathan Thompson was the first person I called and he was very excited to help out with this program,” Gamble said. “Each one of our coaches will do a short talk about a subject crucial to playing ball such as sportsmanship, teamwork, etc. We need some mental attitude in there too.”
The clinic will then instruct the children in the skills needed for the competition.
The Russellville-Logan County Optimist Club is being helped out by several other community organizations such as Youth Action Team, Faith and Family, Concerned Citizens, Givin’ Back and Community Education.
About the Optimist Club
Meeting the needs of young people in communities worldwide, Optimist Clubs have been “Bringing Out the Best in Kids” since 1919. Optimist Clubs conduct positive service projects aimed at providing a helping hand to youth.
Club members are best known in their communities for their upbeat attitudes. By believing in young people and empowering them to be the best they can, Optimist volunteers continually make this world a better place in which to live.
There are 75,000 individual members who belong to 2,600 autonomous Clubs. Optimists conduct 65,000 service projects each year, serving six million young people. Optimists also spend $78 million on their communities annually.
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