MADISONVILLE, Ky. (WEHT) — Once a year, Madisonville steps into the spotlight, shining on basketball pros from far and wide. Players from leagues all across the country and overseas, come to a local park to show off their skills and give back to the community.
“It’s something that a lot of people have grown up on, including myself and now my kids are growing up on the event. It’s a community event from the get-go to bring the community together, centered around basketball but it’s much bigger than basketball,” said Light of Chance Director Eric Logan.
The Dust Bowl Basketball Tournament raises money for Light of Chance, an organization that supports school kids in Madisonville. Last year, their Breath Youth Arts Program provided over one million dollars in free programs and services to kids in the area.
“It’s one hundred miles from my door to my office here but it’s really important. It’s about the kids, it’s about the community, it’s about those smiling faces. It’s about making those impressions on those kids when they’re young, but also when they become adults in the community themselves,” said Logan.
One spectator who drove down from Bloomington, Indiana says events like these help decrease violence and motivate kids to stay out of trouble.
“Up in Indianapolis, it’s all out of control up there because they don’t have events like this. I think this would do a lot for a lot of neighborhoods if they start having events like this,” said Clarence Williams.
“I’m from Evansville and we have a Dust Bowl, we do this, but it’s not on this grand scale and I love it here. Every kid gets taken care of and there’s not a kid left out and it’s just beautiful, I love it,” said Austin Morris.
It costs teams $200 to play and all of the proceeds from the event will be given back to Light of Chance.
Tomorrow, kids in the area can come out to the courts between 3 p.m. and 6 p.m. to receive a free back-to-school haircut and supplies for the new year.
(This story was originally published on August 10, 2019)