3-on-3 basketball tournament coming to Wilkes, set for April 8

Courtesy of SAFE

Courtesy of SAFE

Andre Spruell, Opinion Editor

What better way is their to showcase skills on the court while also raising money for a good cause?

This is something that can be accomplished by participating in a 3v3 basketball tournament fundraiser being held at the Arnaud C. Marts Center here at Wilkes. The tournament will be held on Sunday, April 8th from 9am to 3pm.

All the proceeds from this event will go to the organization known as SAFE, which stands for Supporting Autism and Families Everywhere. The organization hopes get money so it can be given to aid the local Autism community through things like art classes, swimming lessons, and many other activities.

The event is being run by Lindsay Dragon, a mother of two who has a close tie to Autism as her oldest son, 4-year-old Jackson, is diagnosed with a severe form of the disease.

“I have a degree but it feels like I’m back at school,” said Dragon when discussing what it is like having to take care of her oldest son, “he changes the way we see life.”

With Jackson being Lindsay’s motivation for having this event, how it all came into fruition was unique as well.

Dragon notes that when it comes to having events to help out families whose children have autism, it is often difficult to get the whole family involved.

And to further that point, she mentions that more often than not, mothers are more active at these kind of events more than fathers because most of the activities that take place cater more towards mothers than dads. To get dads just as active as mothers, the idea of basketball came about.

When talking to one father in particular at a previous event held during Christmas time, Dragon proposed the idea of having a “dad dunk competition,” with lowered hoops of course since the average cannot jump high enough to dunk on the regulation sized ten foot hoop.

The father instead proposed to Dragon to have a 3v3 tournament instead, that way even more people can participate. Dragon liked the idea so much that she took it and ran with it because basketball is a sport that almost everyone can take part in.

“Basketball is a great way to get the younger generation involved,” said Dragon.

The younger generation will certainly be involved as members of basketball and football teams at Wilkes will be volunteering for the event by doing things like participating in the actual tournament, working concession stands, and many other ways.

Though having younger people help out for a good cause is great, Dragon feels this event will help fathers connect with their children more.

Dragon said, “This will be a great way to get dads involved because it is difficult to do things involving the whole family.”

Being able to do activities to get the whole family involved is what is strived for whenever events like this take place to raise awareness for Autism.

It is unique because all the families participating all share the common denominator of having a child that has Autism. Having that familiarity goes a long way in allowing parents to meet other parents going through the same thing and allows for children diagnosed with the disease to make friends.

Having Wilkes as the location for the event is something Dragon is extremely thankful for.

“We would not be able to have it if it weren’t for Wilkes” said Dragon, “getting the okay from Wilkes really got me excited because it made me realize that this is really happening.”

This is really happening indeed and is something all those involved are certainly looking forward to.

If you would like to participate in this event, whether to play, donate, volunteer or simply for more information, contact Lindsay Dragon via email at [email protected], or via telephone at 570-822-7259.