SPRINGFIELD, Mass. (WWLP) – More than 100 high school boys and girls from Springfield public schools woke up early Saturday to play some hoops.
From 10 a.m. to noon there was nonstop action with 10-minute long 3-on-3 games, all while playing ball in between. With the support of local sponsors the first Play-it-Smart tournament was free for every teenager and had nearly 20 volunteers helping out.
The volunteer that stood out the most Saturday, former NBA player and Springfield native Travis Best, who came to support the kids and address them before the tournament kicked off. Best recognizes the similarity in adolescence he had to these young basketball players and he wants to help out any way he can.
Best told 22News, “You know giving them something to do. Allowing them to hone their skills. You know, have the comradery amongst their peers, and obviously for them to know they’re supported as well by some of us who have come up the same way.”
Kailey Boyd, the organizer of the Play it Smart 3-on-3 tournament said, “A safe fun way for them to come play basketball. Get up on a Saturday, come together, and the design is to bring multiple schools from not just my Commerce girls or my school but to build that culture and to build that city wide.”
In the birthplace of basketball, Saturday’s tournament may have been the best way to bring the community together.