Hoops for Jesus kicks off Spring Break in Meridian

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MERIDIAN, Miss. (WTOK) -- Hundreds of students in the Meridian area are shooting hoops on their spring break for a good cause. Hoops for Jesus is taking place at Mt. Olive Missionary Baptist Church.

(Photo Source: WTOK-TV)

Mt. Olive has sponsored the Hoops for Jesus Spring Break Scholarship Tournament for the past 20 years.

"We just believe that this camp will have an impact on the kids that have came back, and they told us that they have enjoyed participating in our Hoops for Jesus event," said tournament commissioner Ron Turner.

The church's family life center is ground zero for pick and rolls, lay-ups and free-throws this week. Children and young adults will compete for awards and prizes.

"During the course of our camp, every participant will be receiving a participation certificate," said Turner. "Special awards will go to some of the outstanding campers."

This popular Christian-based tournament is a great way for the church to minister to the athletes.

"Our pastor A.D. Lewis does a meditation before and middle of each game where we play and talk about the spirituality part of this event," said Turner. "It's all about bringing our young people close to Christ."

Turner explains why people should participate

"If you want to experience a great atmosphere and to see young people doing positive things, then the 20th annual Hoops for Jesus basketball tournament is the place to be," said Turner. "We welcome the community out."

The youth training camp will continue through Wednesday from 10 a.m. until 3 p.m.

On Thursday, the Meridian Police Department and Meridian Fire Department will play the "Battle of the Badges" All-star game. Tickets cost $2 and will support youth scholarship efforts.

The basketball tournament itself is on Friday and Saturday from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m.