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Friendly basketball competition raises money to send books to Africa

Community members, parents and students are invited to participate in this year's Hoops for Books Basketball Tournament. Cost is $5 per person with a maximum 4-person team. Submitted photo1 / 3
Last year was the first Hoops for Books 3-on-3 basketball tournament at Ellsworth High School. On March 13 at 6:30 p.m. the tournament will take place for the second year to raise money to send books to Africa. Submitted photo2 / 3
Ellwworth High School juniors (from left) Bailey Baker, Olivia Lynner, David Caldwell and Masen Bach are organizing this year's Hoops for Books 3-on-3 basketball tournament. The tournament is March 13 and will raise money to send books to Africa. Sara Tischauser / RiverTown Multimedia3 / 3

Everyone is invited to participate in this year's Ellsworth High School's Hoops for Books basketball tournament to raise money to send books to Africa.

EHS juniors Bailey Baker, Olivia Lynner, Masen Bach and David Caldwell are in charge of the second Hoops for Books, which will be held at 6 p.m. March 13 in the EHS gymnasium.

Lynner said she, Caldwell and Bach started the tournament last year as part of a class project.

"We needed a Capstone project so we all just joined together," Lynner said. "We all play basketball."

Caldwell said they already have many donated books and library books that are no longer needed, but they need to raise money to ship the books to Africa.

The Hoops for Books is a 3-on-3 basketball tournament for anyone who wants to participate, Caldwell said. The cost is $5 per person to play with a maximum of four people per team.

"Last year we had about 15 teams," Lynner said. "We are hoping to have more [this year]."

Bach said last year's tournament raised about $500, but this year they hope to raise even more.

"Goal for this year is $1,000," Caldwell said.

In addition to the tournament, Caldwell said they will also sell concessions. The group is still looking for volunteers to help with concessions and keeping score. Anyone interested in volunteering should email Caldwell at caldwellw@ellsworth.k12.wi.us or EHS service learning coordinator Anne Pechacek at pechaceka@ellsworth.k12.wi.us.

"There will be a sign up on the high school website [www.ellsworth.k12.wi.us/district/3%20on%203%20Tournament%20Sign%20Up.pdf]," Pechacek said. "They can send in email registrations to me or via the website over break (or by mail)."

Money for tournament teams can be turned in the night of the tournament, Pechacek said, but all teams should be signed up by March 12.

Last year's event brought a wide range of people out to play and Bach said they hope even more people come out this year.

"A lot of people that haven't played basketball came out and played," Bach said.

There will be two different brackets at the tournament (family and co-ed). To be in the family bracket a team must have at least two players grades 4-8. The co-ed teams must be high school age or older and must have at least one male and one female on each team with a maximum of two varsity players per team.

The tournament will be double elimination and each game is played to 21 points.

Caldwell said participants should be at the high school gym at 5:30 p.m. that night to see when they are playing, who they are playing and to warm up.

Spectators are welcome at the event; the cost is $3 per person and all proceeds will be used to send book to Africa.