Starting this weekend at the Carver Junior High gym is the second annual Camp Hoops. This basketball tournament is for youth with special needs.
“You see the same faces every sport, and you become their friends. It’s just very exciting to see them all throughout the community, whether you see them at the grocery store or wherever. They come hug you, and we love on them, and we’ve just gotten to become good friends with all of them,” said event organizer, Neil Henry.
Henry is with the Meridian Youth Soccer Organization and originally started a similar tournament, but with soccer. He said the added basketball last year, and the community has loved it.
“The fun part is: I’m on Facebook, and they’ll message me with their new shoes, their new jersey, or whatever they’re wearing,” said Henry. “They love being a part of a team, and I think that’s important because they all have the desire to win, and they’re all winners. That’s what fun about it.”
It’s completely free, and parents can still sign their children up through next weekend. Henry says this tournament along Jeannie’s Place opening this weekend is showing how Meridian is coming together for those with special needs.
“It’s been really good seeing Meridian recognize the need for a playground and supporting the community with Jeannie’s Place, which has been really fun seeing this happen because the community needs and deserves this. Jeannie is one of our athletes. She plays soccer, she plays basketball, and she’s so fun and loves to come out
and support these programs as well.”
Most volunteers helping with the tournament are youth involved in organizations such as the Boy Scouts, Dusty’s, Deb’s, and others. The tournament begins at 6:30 p.m. next Friday and the following Friday.