BIG SPRING – Area athletes from the 23 counties served by West Texas Centers will compete March 27 in the “16th Annual Darrell E. Smith Hoops, Dreams and Goals” basketball tournament at the Dorothy Garrett Coliseum on the Howard College campus in Big Spring.
Tip-off for the long-running basketball tournament is set for 9:30 a.m. following a raucous entrance from the Big Spring High School Drumline as well as cheerleaders from Howard College and Big Spring High School.
Activities get underway with the grand entrance and introduction of teams at 8:30 a.m. West Texas Centers Board Chair Van York and West Texas Centers Board member Alan Harris will welcome all participants kicking off a great day.
“The athletes, coaches, managers and cheerleaders are super excited as they follow behind the cheerleaders and the drumline as they walk down the ramp of the Dorothy Garrett Coliseum onto a big-time basketball court,” West Texas Centers CEO Shelley Smith said. “They just have the biggest smiles and it puts a smile on my face as well.”
“I say this every year, but hands down, it’s my favorite day of the year.”
More than 400 people will participate in a March Madness Basketball Tournament determining the best team competing, best halftime show & most spirit in the 23-county region served by West Texas Centers and four counties including Midland, Odessa, Abilene, and San Angelo.
Veteran teams include: Big Spring Heat; Monahans/Pecos Warriors; Snyder Wildkatz; Seminole Pink Panthers; Ballinger Longhorns; Abilene Chili Peppers; Odessa Tigers; San Angelo Bobcats; Midland Panthers; and Sweetwater Red Rattlers.
Teams compete not only for the tournament trophy but also for the coveted Spirit Stick and the best halftime show.
“We make sure that every facet of our population is included in this daylong basketball tournament,” Smith said. “We offer activities of interest to everyone attending.”
“The spirit level is intense throughout the daylong competition because everyone is competing for the Spirit Stick. It’s a huge award.”
Many of the competitors also participate in halftime shows that includes skits, songs and dancing, Smith said. “It’s as competitive as the games themselves.”
The event is free and open to the public.
Sponsors for the event include Corporate Sponsorships from Big Spring Ford, Hexad Oil, and Hotel Settles. The following are also contributors to Hoops, Dreams & Goals - Howard College, The Arc of Howard County, Scenic Mountain Medical Center, Atmos Energy, Delek, KBYG, KBEST, Gallagher Benefit Services, & Prescription Services.