Local AAU Tournament draws big crowd to help youth

GOLDEN TRIANGLE, Miss. (WCBI) —  One of the biggest Amateur Athletic Union (AAU) basketball tournaments took place in the Golden Triangle.

The Fly and S.T.Y AAU basketball organization is one of the many basketball programs that travel around the South to compete in tournaments.

The Fly and S.T.Y Hustle tournament was held in numerous locations in Columbus and New Hope.

S.T.Y which means “Saving the Youth” gives children around the Golden Triangle the opportunity to learn not only basketball but life skills.

There were over 50 teams that participated in the tournament from ages 11- 17.

Donel Briggs has been a basketball coach for three years.

He said that basketball teaches the youth how to react on their own.

“You got to think about that possible punishment before you act,” Briggs said. “Because that can cost you your life. Unfortunately it has cost many. I almost was one of those individuals. So to sum up that question itself and I’ll leave just like that, it teaches these kids to think. You got to think on the court cause if you can think on the court you can think in life.”

Stephen Harrison is also a coach for the S.T.Y team.

He said the tournament is a representation of unity.

“It’s a good example of good resources that two different organizations come together and maybe the community can understand that besides the differences, we can still come together and make a beautiful event happen,” Harrison said. “Maybe the kids can see that as well that when adults come together under one common goal you can achieve anything.”

Briggs said he is very proud of the turnout and the support from the community.

“It’s great competition first and foremost I tip my hat to all of the youth, all of the male teams and female teams that played in it, as well as the coaches,” Briggs said. “It takes a lot to coach and don’t get paid that takes a lot. It’s a bunch of sacrifices and then the fans, without the mothers and the parents we wouldn’t be able to do it. It was a great turnout, I feel like it was a great turnout in every gym that I walked in. ”

This was the 2nd annual Fly and S.T.Y Hustle tournament.

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