SANDUSKY The 11th annual Northcoast Streetball Tournament on the Scott May Courts in Jaycee Park finishes up today with the final men’s 5-on-5 games.
“It’s going great,” Richard Koonce said. “There are some challenges, same challenges in life … But it’s all a part of life.
“We do it because we need to do it. We do it every year because people look forward to it. The main thing is that it’s ministry. A lot of people look at this, and they don’t see ministry, but that’s exactly what it is.”
Koonce said the proceeds will go to Spirit and Truth Ministries’ community outreach programs in the three elementary schools he won in auction for $5 in November 2009.
“Part of me was like, ‘Man, I know that we shouldn’t let those buildings just go to somebody who would turn them into apartments, or tear them down, or do God-knows-what,” he said.
Spirit and Truth Ministries moved into Madison, the Nehemiah Community Learning and Youth Outreach Center is in Campbell. The buildings host events such as “teen shut-ins” as well as computer labs.
“We have plenty to do to maintain the buildings, the costs — especially in the wintertime,” Koonce said.
Around 20 teams gathered this weekend for youth 3-on-3 tournaments and a men’s 5-on-5. A planned women’s 5-on-5 bracket fell through because of a lack of participants.
The men’s 5-on-5 tournament included teams like Big O’s, NY’s Finest, Ol’ Skool, Phil P’s and teams representing Sandusky and Perkins high schools.
“I enter a team here every year,” Ol’ Skool captain Curt Williams said. “It gives the old guys something to do instead of laying at home in the rocking chair.”
Ol’ Skool, a team of former Blue Streaks (and Williams, a Perkins grad and former Sandusky freshman basketball coach), took on the current Blue Streaks in the consolation bracket. Led by Jay Page and Cordney Strickland, Sandusky High School set Ol’ Skool down in overtime, 62-60.
“We play every day,” Williams said. “We’re used to playing with these young guys. I didn’t have my whole team here, anyhow.”
Busi Net won the 3-on-3 tournament for the youngest age group, grades 5-6, over a squad from the NAACP. Sandusky Ice took the tournament for grades 7-8 versus In His Presence, while Team Jesus won grades 9-10 against a team from Men of Action. Bill Hill Fashions/Original Entertainment defeated Excellence Hair Salon for grades 11-12.
The five-man tournament champion will be decided today.
Admission to the event is $2. Vendors are selling food and t-shirts inside the park.
“A lot of what we do is based on showing the community love, especially our children,” Koonce said. “If we can do that, if we can get them to see Christ in our efforts, then we have won.”