Kalamazoo hosting Juneteenth basketball tournament (update)

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Charles Riddle Jr., center first row, sits with basketball players from Centerpoint Church. Courtesy Charles Riddle Jr.

UPDATE (Wednesday, May 27, 2021): Youth and adult registration is now $200 (max 8 players) for a complete team. Free youth team slots also are available.

Teens and adults can compete in the Juneteenth Basketball Playoffs on June 19 at Wings Event Center, 3600 Vanrick Drive in Kalamazoo.

Teens between the ages of 11-16 and adults 17 and older can either form a women’s-only team, a co-ed team or a men’s-only team of a maximum of eight players for a five-on-five tournament play.

There will be optional placement game days available at the Courthouse Athletic Center, 7365 S. Sprinkle Road in Kalamazoo, on May 24 and 26, and Centerpoint Church, 2345 N. 10th St. in Kalamazoo, on June 8 and 10 leading up to the tournament day at Wings Event Center.

In addition to the basketball games, there will be a Dunk Showcase featuring Kalamazoo’s own Dunkin’ Doug Anderson and a three-point contest.

The event will be hosted by Charles Riddle Jr. and his partner Romaine Harper for the greater Kalamazoo and Michigan basketball communities to celebrate Black history and culture, as well as unity and teamwork through basketball.

“Building fundamental skills are important for young hoopers, and we want to make sure the youth have an opportunity to compete before the new school year,” Riddle said. “This event will also provide a fun and unifying environment to celebrate Juneteenth and casually learn more about Black history.”

Teams and individuals from all backgrounds, races, cultures and religions can sign up and play.

Registration for the event is $62.50 per individual player or $500 per complete team and includes all three locations. The winning team at Wings Event Center will receive a $1,000 prize.

Tickets for children 12 and under are $7 in advance or $10 at the door. Adults 13 and up can purchase tickets for $15 in advance or $20 at the door.

A donation of $5 per fan ticket will be split between three local and Black-focused charities: ERAC/CE, ISAAC and Rootead.

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