McNairy Basketball Association hosts first tourney

By Amanda Lowrance

A new group in McNairy County has united to form the McNairy Basketball Association, and its purpose is to teach young people the fundamental skills of basketball.

In its introductory year, MBA has welcomed approximately 135 youth members of many different ages. There are two third and fourth grade teams, four fifth and sixth grade teams, three seventh and eighth grade teams, and two high school teams divided into boys’ and girls’ teams.

MBA has a nine-member board and ranking officers under the leadership of President Craig Kennedy. Coaches Connie Robinson, Kerri Hughes, Bridgette Hunger, Amy Grimes, Ken Bingham, Ronnie Nixon, Nathan Forsythe, Johnathan Williams, Robin York, Jerry Lott, Glenn Davis, Carolyn Simmons, Amy Null, Shelley Wynn, Denise Bennett, and Steve Forsythe began working toward tryouts and practices early in 2012 and continue to work with their teams throughout the week.

This weekend, the new group held their first event ever, hosting the MBA Play Day that featured teams from Jackson, Milan, Chester County, Middleton, and Dyersburg.

“Everything went great,” said Coach Steve Forsythe. “The tournament was made possible through the work and the help of the people who kept score, ran scoreboards, worked concessions, worked gates and refereed. We definitely could not have made it work without all the organization that Chris Whitten did.”

The play day began last Friday night and carried through all-day Saturday, covering approximately 30 games spread to three different county school gymnasiums: Selmer Middle, McNairy Central, and Bethel Springs.

“We didn’t charge anybody to play,” said Forsythe. “We have raised money with our tournament, a raffle, and we have several team sponsors who we will recognize at a later date.”

A few of the teams had already competed with similar neighboring organizations before hosting the preliminary event.

 “This was our first set of games as a whole group,” said Forsythe. “The seventh and eighth grade boys played in Alamo (Tenn.). last weekend and went 2-2. Some of our teams will play in Dyersburg April 7, and the others will play in Alamo on April 14. We hope to have another tournament here but have not determined the date yet.”

The time, preparation, money, work and dedication spent toward the MBA will help ensure the local youth success for the future.

“Our motto is from Proverbs 22:6 - Train a child in the way he should go and when he is older, he will not turn from it.” 

Updates, practice times, game times, and cancellations can be found on McNairy Basketball Association’s Facebook page, which has about 160 members promoting and supporting the organization.