The tip-off of Juneau Lions Club Gold Medal Basketball Tournament may be five months away, but preparation for the event is a year-long event.
The annual tournament attracts teams and fans from throughout Southeast Alaska. Though the tournament lasts just one week in spring, tourney co-chairman Joyce Kitka knows the planning is a year-long job.
"We finish the tournament in March and take a deep breath in April," Kitka said. "We usually take a month or two off and then we've been meeting since July to start for next year's tournament with the invitation committee to committees for awards to committees on officials to a facilities committee."
The legendary basketball tournament is preparing for its 60th year by soliciting teams to compete.
Interested teams must write a letter of intent to the invitation committee. Teams must be willing to commit to fielding a complete squad in either the A, B, C or women's division. Letters should also include a contact name, number and address, along with choice of division.
60th gold medal
searching for teams
who: the invitation committee is looking for teams
when: deadline for letters of intent is nov. 15.
where: send all letters to: juneau lions club p.o. box 20911 juneau, ak 99802
Deadline for submission is Nov. 15 and all letters should be sent to Juneau Lions Club, P.O. Box 20911, Juneau, Alaska, 99802.
The C division is for players ages 35-and-older while the A and B divisions are for athletes 18-and-older.
"The invitation committee is working on trying to get the word out to see who wants to come," Kitka said. "We want to make it open and wide. We've tried to do that throughout Southeast Alaska."
In addition to being a massive athletic tournament, Gold Medal serves as a large fund-raising event.
Kitka said the proceeds from last year's Gold Medal tournament helped fund scholarships for communities throughout Southeast Alaska.
"Last year we had enough money and we went to every community who participated and gave a scholarship to that community," Kitka said. "There was a $500 scholarship. It was really cool."
This year's tournament takes place from March 26 to April 1.
Tim Nichols, sports editor, can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org