For most people, Labor Day is a day off from work. But for some Stateline kids, they put in work on the basketball court.
Hundreds of kids went downtown to the UW Health Sports Factory for the annual HoopStars tournament.
“It was really fun!” said 12 year-old Corey Akins. “My favorite part was playing with my team enjoying our time here.”
“You get to play against other teams that you didn’t know about before,” said 10 year-old Brian Harper.
Senator Steve Stadelman created the tournament to give kids something to do during the holiday weekend. He says the event unites residents no matter where they’re from in the Stateline area.
“It brings kids from all across the community,” said Stadelman. “You look across the courts and there’s a lot of diversity. Kids from all segments of the community and that’s what’s cool about this tournament.”
Keith James has been a coach for HoopStars for five years now. He says the tournament gives families a chance to have some fun who may not have the means otherwise.
“Having something free like this, that gives them the opportunity to come here and get a chance to excel in something they love,” said James. “A lot of kids that are bad or have tough upbringings, they do excel in sports.”
Brannon Hatchett and his dream team played in the tournament for the first time. The ten year-old says HoopStars gives kids a chance to get out of the house and meet new people.
“Kids these days just play games on their phone,” said Hatchett, “People are trying to get them out of the house to have fun outside and here indoors.”
But on Monday, over three hundred kids put down their phones and scored many baskets.
“I think anytime you can offer kids an activity, with families especially, it’s a positive thing and that can prevent problems whatever it may be,” said Stadelman.
Coach Keith James’ eight graders were the champs of their division. Monday’s event was completely free and the sixth year it was hosted.