With the NCAA Women’s Elite 8 Basketball Tournament coming up soon at the Civic Arena in St. Joseph, basketball fever is in the air.
The Hoop City Tip-Off occurred at the East Hills Mall from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. Saturday.
Hosted by the St. Joseph Sports Commission and MO Family Sports, the event invited kids of all ages to come out and play basketball at the East Hills Mall.
Ryanna Hatfield from MO Family Sports explained the event.
“So the event is basically since the colleges are coming into the Civic Arena to play," Hatfield said. "We’re trying to get younger athletes to improve their skills and to show off their skills because St. Joe has a lot of talent, and we’re trying to showcase that.”
The event was free and required no pre-registration to participate. Kids could play 3v3, as well as participate in shooting exercises and skill games.
Eleven-year-old Lydia Haley participated in the event. Haley has been playing basketball since she was three and shared why she loves to play. “I’ve always liked (basketball). It’s just a really good sport to play."
Lydia's father, Ben Haley, also came to enjoy the event.
“Yeah, I just wanted something fun to do for my daughter, and, yeah, it’s kind of a cold day, and just wanted to do something fun inside.”
Camdyn Rucker, the Youth Sports Director at MO Family Sports, shared why they hosted this event.
“We’re just here trying to get the kids out doing something active. Really, that’s our goal, is to bring more opportunity for these kids to get out and do something.”
The St. Joseph Sports Commission and MO Family Sports host several sporting events throughout the year.
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