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This team photo, taken after the Glen Armentor Classic Tournament in Lafayette in April shows, from left, (back row) Assistant Coach Treyvion Williams, Gerard Griffin, Lamyrin Jones, Joseph Hutchinson, Jamarion Thompson, Ja’Quavien Bacon, Assistant Coach Demarckus Turner, Eric Waters (center row) Head Coach Romaro Turner, Desmond Waters, Edward Watson, and (front row) Kade Gauthier, Jalen Brown, Brailon Lee, Donte Stevenson, Amyrion Mingo, Talik Williams and Assistant Coach Tony St Romain.

Avoyelles boys to compete in national basketball tourney

To be held June 30-July 3 in Orlando, Fla.

About 20 boys, their coach and four assistant coaches will be heading to Orlando, Fl. to play in a national youth basketball tournament.

The United States Specialty Sports Associa-tion’s National Champion-ship Tournament will be held at Gaylord Palms Resort from June 30-July 3. Romaro Turner hopes his team is able to bring home a trophy in their age division.

Turner, who handles In-School-Suspension and coaches elementary basketball at Riverside Elementary, is pleased with his team’s efforts this year. His Riverside Elementary team won its district with a 13-1 record.

Many of those players are on this team, but they are joined by boys from Lafargue Elementary, Avoyelles High, Bunkie High, Marksville High and Avoyelles Public Charter.

“The team includes players from grades 5 through 8, ages 11-14,” Turner said.

“I am proud of this group of young men and the growth they have shown,” he said. “We started out the season a bit rough and wouldn’t even show in the tournaments, but then we started winning games. We have won a few 1st places and a few 2nd places.”

He has two teams for the season, but the teams are combined for the national tournament.

Turner said individual or business donations to defray the players’ costs for the trip to Florida are appreciated.

He said the cost per child is about $375, which includes the tournament registration fee, hotel room and meals.

Turner has tried to reduce costs for parents by putting five boys to a room instead of four.

Anyone wanting more information about the youth basketball program and the USSSA tournament can call Turner at 500-4379 or contact him by email at romaroturner@yahoo. com.

Turner said the boys deserve this reward and the experience of competing in a national tournament.

“Those playing elementary basketball have been practicing and playing since September,” Turner said. “After that season, we wanted to continue with basketball as a positive reward for them.”

They practiced for the USSSA season beginning in December and began playing in tournaments in March.

“They will play about 30 games before we end the season in July,” Turner said.

There is no league or district, so there is no district championship -- just individual tournament titles. Turner said an organizer with the national championship tournament contacted him and invited the Avoyelles team to participate. He believes his team can compete at the national level.

Each team is guaranteed to play at least four games during the tournament, even if they don’t advance to the championship rounds.


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