• 81°

PLAYING FOR THE CHAMPIONSHIP: City set to host ARPA state invitational tourney

The Andalusia Department of Leisure Services will host the first annual Alabama Recreation and Park Association Invitational Adult Basketball Championship later this month.

“We started playing ARPA basketball a few years ago,” Mike Hourel said. “Last year, our All-Star team went to and won the state tournament.”

This year, however, things didn’t pan out with the state tournament, Hourel said.

“The state tournament actually just got cancelled this week,” Hourel said. “So we got on the phone with the ARPA and asked what we could do to keep it going. That’s how we came up with this idea. It’s not actually the state championship so we made it an invitational tournament.”

Hourel said that a few teams have already said that they would come down to play in the tournament.

“Tuskegee and Alexander City have both said that they will come to play in the tournament,” Hourel said. “We are waiting to hear back from Opp, Troy and Dothan. There is also a team from Florala that has said they are interested in playing in the tournament.”

At this point, the tournament is scheduled to be held at Johnson Park, but Hourel said that could change.

“Hopefully, we can get the teams signed up quickly to see how many we are going to have,” Hourel said. “Depending on the number of teams, we may have to find another location to handle the amount of teams.”

Hourel said that a lot of behind the scenes work goes into setting up a tournament like this.

“There are a lot of things that we have to do to get ready for this,” Hourel said. “We have to find certified refs, but I think I have a couple of guys that are going to do that. Once we get all the teams lined up, we have to set up the bracket. We are also going to have awards for the champs as well as individual awards. If I can get them in time, I want to get rings for the champions like our team got last year.”

Hourel said that Andalusia will have one team in the tournament that consists of All-Stars from this summer’s adult basketball league.

“We already have our team,” Hourel said. “We picked our All-Stars from teams in our league.”

Hourel said he encourages people to come out and support the tournament.

“It should be a lot of fun,” Hourel said. “It’s something for the adults to do and have something to brag about. I want everyone to come out and have a good time.”

Along with the tournament, Hourel said there will also be a 3-point shootout and a dunk contest that are open to anyone.

“Anyone can join the 3-point contest and the dunk contest,” Hourel said. “You don’t have to be on one of the teams to compete in those events. Anyone in the stands is welcome to join.”

There will be a $10 sign up fee each for the 3-point shootout and the dunk contest.

The tournament is scheduled for Aug. 24-25 at Johnson Park, but the dates and location are subject to change depending on the number of teams that participate in the event, Hourel said.

The cost of the tournament will be $100 per team and each team will play at least two games.

Teams will be allowed 12 players on the roster as well as three coaches.

There will be concessions available and no outside food or drinks will be allowed.