SPRINGFIELD, Mass. (WWLP) – The West Springfield Boys & Girls Club brought back their annual High School Girls Basketball Tip Off Classic this week. 22News was at the Basketball Hall of Fame on Sunday for the championship game to find out how people felt to have the event back this year.
People from the community are excited to welcome back this beloved pre-season basketball tournament that helps provide scholarships for students in the area. The event also bringing big smiles to the players as they play in the one and only Birthplace of Basketball. This year is the 34th annual High School Girls Basketball Tip Off Classic, and proceeds raised from the tournament will benefit members of the West Springfield Boys & Girls Club.
22News spoke with the West Springfield Boys & Girls Club’s Program Director, Raymond Sanchez, “Every year we like to provide a certain amount of scholarships to our families and the community of West Springfield. We offer a plethora of programs, between athletic programs, and our after school and before programs. Every dollar, every cent that we get from this goes directly to those programs.”
He added that the tournament develops relationships and helps prepare these young athletes for the road ahead.
“It’s important for them to get the same recognition as the boys because they work just as hard, sometimes even harder, to get the same recognition that the boys would get,” expressed Sanchez, “We really want to provide them the platform, but that’s all we’re really doing. They are the ones out there doing all the work, having fun, and being great.”
The tournament began on Thursday and concluded Sunday night with the big championship game between Chicopee and Holyoke.
“We really like to do our pre-season tournament for the girls. We noticed that there was a lot of tournaments for the boys, so we figured we’ll step up and give the girls some spotlight and some fun to have,” said Steve Delnickas the Director of Museum Operations at the Basketball Hall of Fame.
It was a basketball lovers dream at Sunday night’s championship game with Holyoke securing the title from previous owners, Chicopee High School.