BELLE GLADE– Glades Day School is set to host the Big O Classic, a preseason basketball tournament featuring the Gators and teams from Clewiston High School, Glades Central High School, Pahokee High School.
The tournament kicks off today (Friday, Nov. 22) at 5 p.m. when Pahokee takes on Clewiston, followed by Glades Day facing Glades Central at 7 p.m..
The tournament will conclude the next day on Nov 23 with a consolation game at 5 p.m. between the two teams that were defeated, and a championship game with the two winners at 7 p.m..
“We wanted to do something that would involve some of our lake area high schools to kick off the high school basketball season,” said Glades Day athletic director Zach Threlkeld. “To my knowledge, there hasn’t been a Glades area basketball preseason tournament in awhile.”
Glades Day basketball coach Keyon Hodges echoed Mr. Threlkeld’s sentiments.
“I’ve been in the process of getting this off the ground for three years,” explained Hodges. “I finally have it. We’re hoping it will become an annual event. Once football is over we want the kids to still have incentives to keep staying in school and keep staying involved. Just giving them another avenue to travel down other than football. We want to get the community involved and keep the Glades area going.”
The event is sponsored by Bank of Belle Glade, Walgreens, Chevy of Belle Glade, and Belle Glade Pharmacy. Admission to the tournament will be $5 and concessions will be available.
“We want to reach out to these kids through sports,” said Hodges. “It’s a great way to keep them safe from violence and engaged in school. That’s my goal and it’s what I’m trying to bring with this Big O Classic.”