Spotlight in Sports: Buckshot Invitational Basketball TournamentPosted: Updated:
Driving down the winding road of Oakridge Drive in Binghamton, Saturday, you noticed over 50 vehicles lining both sides of the roadway. At first glance, it appeared to be a family reunion or a graduation party. But that was not the case.
It was the 18th Annual Buckshot Invitational Basketball Tournament.
Over 100 people gathered for this yearly tradition of basketball and friendly rivalries. Some coming as far away as Maryland, just to play a game they all grew up with and loved, as well as raising money for local charities.
Tournament founder Jerry Buckley said the Buckshot Invitational began while he and his friends were in high school and college. Enjoying basketball with friends at his backyard's basketball hoop, many of them came to him asking to make it a regular event. And the rest was history.
"They all came to me saying, 'We should do this every weekend.' That's when I was like, 'I don't know if we can do that.' But that's when I knew we had something special here," said Jerry Buckley.
From a backyard hoop to...still a backyard hoop, Buckley and his 12 tournament teams of 3 players each, now contribute to a pair of local charities dear to their hearts.
"We donate to a pair of scholarship funds," said Buckley. After collecting the entrance fees, he said he helps fund the Mason P. Mccann and Danny Rogers Scholarships. Giving back roughly $1,000 in proceeds to help keep the memories of both his friends alive, through their children's futures.
Apart from raising funds for charities, Jerry said this tournament is a "thank you to basketball" for all it has given him over the years, including hundreds of friends to share the court with.
Many of his tournament partners and teammates told Fox 40, thanks to Jerry's love for the game, everyone involved with the Buckshot Invitational has become a very-large family.
"Our families met every year for 18 years. Now that we've gotten older, we have another generation [our kids] playing the game we grew up with," said Anthony Melville, 17th year of Buckshot Invitational.