Get ready for some serious basketball in a fierce battle of teenage travel teams during the Memorial Day Madness tournament in Boca Raton, Fla.
The event, which runs May 23-26, is presented by the South Florida Elite (SFE) and MCB Elite, two not-for-profit travel organizations whose aim is getting kids involved in sports. The championship game will be live streamed on FOXSportsFlorida.comon Monday and replayed on Sun Sports at later date, said Stephen Grecsek of OUR TEAM, who is producing TV and live stream for FOX Sports Florida and Sun Sports.
The event is largely possibly thanks to Off Lease Only, a used car dealer in Palm Beach and Miami that is sponsoring the event.
"I think it’s important to be involved with our community," said Off Lease Only owner Mark Fischer. "Sports is so important for children to learn focus and dedication and it will help them for the rest of their lives. I am honored to have Off Lease Only sponsor such an incredible basketball event."
Thirty-two teams, with players in grades 8 to 11, will compete in the weekend tournament, said Louis Vives, president of SFE. The games will be centered at Lynn University.
The event is in its third year and growing, with teams from Jacksonville, Tampa and Orlando also participating.
"The goal is to keep everybody here participating in a competitive event with all the local surrounding teams so they don’t have to spend that $2,000 to $3,000 traveling to other areas to compete," Vives said.
According to Vives, SFE hosts events for the Amateur Athletic Union (AAU) to help fund the activities of the SFE sports teams. Off Lease Only’s participation this year will enable SFE to put more money toward team activities instead of just event costs.
The Amateur Athletic Union is a national organization which provides sports programs for participants of all ages beginning at the grass roots level.
"Off Lease Only is helping us cover the event so everything we generate will help fund our 15 teams for the rest of the season," Vives said. "Our teams are based in the Tri-County area."
Ernie Cambo, managing member of Memorial Day Madness, LLC, which organized the event, said he hopes the tournament’s reach becomes even bigger in the future.
"Over the next few years, the goal is to broadcast this highly competitive event to reach 25 million homes and give these wonderful student athletes an opportunity to showcase their abilities to continue playing in college next year, and for years to come," Cambo said, adding that he is "thrilled to partner with Off Lease Only and FOX’s Sun Sports."
The weekend tournament is expected to be full of thrills so don’t expect to be bored. According to Vives, the players in this tournament are serious about the sport and play hard.
"This is actually really competitive — the 17-year-old category is very competitive and the 16-year-olds are very competitive. Whoever wins this gets bragging rights for the year," Vives said. "It’s not about having fun. It’s going to be a lot of blood, sweat and tears."