There is a lot of activity going on in Altus and its surrounding areas when it comes to sports these days.
Football, softball, and cross-country are in full swing and in some areas, even baseball is going strong. But as the temperature starts to drop and the leaves start to change, there is another sport that has become increasingly popular in the State of Oklahoma since the relocation and rise of the Oklahoma City Thunder.
Before the Thunder came to the state, basketball was always seen as something that would hold over sports fans until the beginning of baseball in the spring or until fall came back around and brought with it the start of the next football season.
But now there is much more to the sport. Children of all ages are flocking to local courts and perfecting their skills, hoping they can reach the next level like some of their favorite NBA superstars. Thunder flags, decals, and license plates can be seen all across the area and it is evident how much the game of basketball now impacts Oklahoma and its citizens.
In Altus, two men have gotten together in preparation for the upcoming basketball season and they are doing it in a big way. Their goal is to raise money for the City of Altus basketball courts at the city gym — courts that have been in disrepair for a while now and are in desperate need of revitalization.
“The real reason we decided to do it was for the kids,” said Dan Goodson III. “Darrell (Lee) and I feel like there are not enough activities and options around Altus for the youth. So setting up this tournament was just one more way we could provide something for the youth to do.”
Lee is one-half of the duo making this possible for the youth of Altus and echoes many of Goodson’s sentiments, but they have something bigger in mind if this grows to the size they are expecting.
“We’re doing this for the kids, but we also feel like this is a building block for so much more we want to do,” Lee said. “This winter I’ll be putting on a fundamentals basketball camp for the boys’ season and all money raised will be donated as well. We’re just trying to give back to the community and come up with healthy activities for everyone to have fun and with this, the interest is there.”
The three-on-three tournament has been dubbed the Fall Ball Youth Bball Tourney and it begins at 9 a.m. Oct. 8 on the Thunder court at Hoyt Shadid Park. There will be four separate age groups including 10-11, 12-13, 14-15 and 16-18. In addition to the tournament, there will also be a free-throw and three-point shootout as well as music, drawings and giveaways, moon jumps, a concession stand, and a big barbecue for all who attend.
Although each team will only be allowed three players on the court at a time, the team size is set at five and each team will have to put up $50 to register. Winning teams will receive a trophy and individual trophies will be given out to the best of the best as well as T-shirts.
All money raised at this tournament will go towards the basketball courts at the city gym.
“We have a lot of ideas for the youth and we feel this tournament could be the start of something amazing for them,” Goodson said. “The City of Altus came to Darrell Lee and Darrell Lee came to me and we have just been brainstorming ever since. Especially since all the money made at the tournament will go towards building the new basketball courts at the city gym, we definitely wanted to be a part of something that big for the community.”
For more information about the tournament or to sign up a team, contact Lee at 580-301-4497 or Goodson at 580-471-8539
Reach Ryan Lewis at 580-482-1221, ext. 2076.