The Grasshoppers, along with Shooting Stars Enterprise, LLC will host the Southside Super Showdown basketball tournament Friday, May 25 through Sunday, May 27 at Griffin High School’s gym, The House.
The tournament will be a boys only event, with teams as young as 12-and-under and as old as 17-and-under. The tourney starts Friday night from 7-10 p.m., 9 a.m. to 9 p.m. on Saturday and 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. on Sunday. The entrance fee is $5, but veterans with ID will and wounded veterans will not be charged at all to enter the game. Also, all Griffin-Spalding County school students with school ID will get in for $3.
Richards, a 24 years Marine Corps veteran, said this tournament will be extremely personal for him.
“I just want to let people know that Memorial Day is more than just barbecue, cookouts and kids being out of school going to the pool. As a former Drill Instructor for the U.S. Marine Corps teaching military history to recruits training, Memorial Day became very important to me,” Richards said. “Military members have died fighting for the freedom of our country. Freedom has a price and those that gave their lives paid the bill. So this tournament is very personal —I'm a veteran, my Grasshoppers are in it and it’s going to be at my high school alma mater, Griffin High.”
There will be a bevy of talented AAU teams in this tournament, including the Atlanta Celtics, Atlanta Select, Metro Atlanta Vipers, SW Blue Devils, Executive 3, Georgia Champions, Georgia Chargers, Georgia Hawks, Georgia Trailblazers, Georgia Fastbreak, Georgia Impac and of course, the Griffin Grasshoppers.
Each team will play three games in round-robin pool play, with the top four teams advancing to the semifinals. The semifinal winners play for the tournament championship on Sunday. In a very sweet twist, the semis and title games on Sunday morning will be streamed live on www.griffingrasshoppersihigh.com.
“I thought having a live stream would be a nice treat for the community, who may want to relax at home and watch the action on Sunday,” Richards said.
Richards won’t forget the military portion of this tournament, as he will have a display of a military helmet, boots facing backwards, a flak jacket and battle gear at The House’s main entrance. The Griffin High ROTC will present the colors and there will be a moment of silence for fallen veterans before tipoff Friday.
“I’m honored that the Griffin High administration and basketball coaching staff opened up The House for this tournament,” Richards said. “It means a lot to me and I hope the community will have fun and learn about Memorial Day at the same time.”