Tournament brings influx of youths into Jackson today

Saturday, April 26, 2008

This weekend, Jackson's got game.

About 600 basketball players from 60 teams in grades four through 12 will compete in a Southeast Sports basketball tournament beginning today.

Darrin Pruitt, area director for Mid America Youth Basketball, runs a business called Southeast Youth Sports, which has been organizing youth events since 2003. Mid America Youth Basketball is based in Kansas.

This weekend's tournament for boys and girls includes teams from five states.

Trina Pruitt, who helps her husband organize the events, said the tournament has grown in popularity. "We have a lot of repeat customers," she said.

According to Darrin Pruitt, an impact formula used by MAYB estimates this weekend's tournament will will boost the local economy by $711,000 as parents and participants pay for meals, lodging and fuel.

Games will start at 8 a.m. today and will run through Sunday afternoon. Games will be played at Jackson High School, Jackson's multipurpose building, the junior high school and the Southeast Missouri State University recreation center.

"We have a very big high school division this year," Trina Pruitt said.

Another, larger tournament has been scheduled for June 13 through 15.

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