Hoops Classic Positively Influences Participants

By:
Julena Allen, junior communication major

“This year had the most number of teams to ever play at Hoops Classic: 56 in total,” said James The, Vice President for Student Services. “Having these students come and play at Southwestern creates a nice energetic atmosphere on campus.”

Jan. 25- 27 marked the 23rd Hoops Classic annual event at Southwestern Adventist University. The event is intended not only to stimulate students athletically, but also give students a chance to learn more about God in a supportive Christian environment and develop life-long friendships. Every year, the festival draws participants and their supporters to the University from all over the United States, allowing old friends to reconnect and new friendships to form. Many of the visiting students leave each year with fond memories of the event. 

The largest basketball tournament hosted in the North American Division, the weekend is full of more than just games. The students and faculty make sure to provide  spiritually-themed opportunities for the guests to enjoy, including music, skits, testimonies, and more. 

Here’s what a few of the players said:

“This is our first year playing in Hoops Classic,” said Sydney Bartolome, an eighth-grade student from North Dallas Adventist Academy. “We are fighting for third place in the championship on the junior varsity team. So far, Hoops Classic has been a good experience for us. It’s challenging, but in a good way. We’ll definitely come back.”

“Hoops Classic gives you a chance to interact with other people and it’s a chance to bond as a team and have fun,” said Krista Hanson, a ninth grader from Ozark Academy.

“I like all the interactions between the high school students. You get to meet a lot of cool new people and make a lot of new friends,” said Kelsey Johnson, a senior at Chisholm Trail Academy.

Not all of the students that participated in the games came from Christian schools, but that didn’t leave them any less impressed with the level of support and Christian atmosphere they found at Southwestern.

Cassidy from West Lake Academy in Dallas said, “There is a good level of competition and a friendly Christian atmosphere here and I really like that. Since we aren’t a Christian school, it teaches us more about God, plus there are tons of students from all over that we can meet.”

Being used as a medium for students from all over the nation to display their skills and sportsmanship in a game they love, Hoops Classics has found a way to personally touch the players and let them understand the importance of teamwork, friendships, and community. It also enables some to learn more about God and see Him in a different light, an opportunity they might never have had otherwise. 

For more information about the teams that played at 2018 Hoops Classic and its winners, visit: http://studentservices.swau.edu/hoops-classic. The archived games can be watched on our Youtube Channel. Photos can be downloaded from our Flickr (additional photos will be uploaded over the course of this week).