DOBBINS HEIGHTS — Everyone in attendance, Tiger Stanback says, enjoyed themselves this past Saturday at the Soul in the Hole Basketball Tournament at Dobbins Heights Community Park.
There were five teams that came out to compete on the blacktop while music was played and food was being grilled. All games were 5-on-5 full-court matchups played to 16 points, with the winning team having to win by two points.
Originally scheduled to be a single-elimination tournament, teams ended up playing for fun — without a winner being decided — due to the number of squads that didn’t show up for the one-day event.
“It was pretty good. A lot of teams didn’t show but we enjoyed ourselves,” Stanback said. “Everbody just played and got involved. We ate hot dogs, hamburgers, and had a good time.”
The name “Soul in the Hole” is a reference to a late-’90s documentary about street basketball’s effect on the youth of Brooklyn, New York.
“You have to play the game to know what Soul in the Hole is,” he said. “The basketball is life, the rim is the opportunity and the game is grasping and working towards the opportunities that are in front of you.”
Stanback, a native of Rockingham, first started the tournament when he lived in Detroit and helped reignite it in Dobbins Heights with the help of Mayor Pro Tem Tyré Holloway. The idea falls in line with the the vision of the Unity in the Community committee, which aims to promote positive activities for residents to engage in.
The hope is that the tournament can grow and eventually help raise money for things like haircuts for kids who can’t afford them, Christmas presents, scholarships, and more.
“There’s nothing for kids in the community to do, this can give them something to look forward to. The more they have to do, the less they get in trouble,” Stanback said last month. “The more people in the community get involved the better.”
Stanback and Holloway are looking forward to hosting another one, a back-to-school tournament, in the middle of August. When that time comes, Stanback said, they’ll do more to make sure the community is aware of what’s going on.
“More advertisement,” Stanback said of what he’ll do different in preparation for the next tournament. “We’ve got to put the word out there and get more people involved.”
Reach sports editor Leon Hargrove Jr. by phone at 910-817-2673 or by email at [email protected] For stories, scores and updates, follow the Daily Journal’s sports section on Twitter @RCDailySports.