Hoops, Dreams and Goals 2014 set for March 28

BIG SPRING – The 10th Annual Hoops Dreams and Goals 2014 competition is set for March 28, at the Dorothy Garrett Coliseum.“Hoops, Dreams and Goals is our highly anticipated basketball tournament involving our entire Intellectual and Developmental Disability program in Big Spring and the rural counties we serve in Texas,” said West Texas Centers CEO Shelley Smith, LMSW.Hoops, Dreams and Goals kicked off 10 years ago and has not lost any of the enthusiasm from its inaugural season, Smith said.“It’s a high-energy event we use to kick off our spring and to coincide with March Madness,” she said referring to the basketball tournaments taking place across the nation.“It’s just so much fun to see everyone come together in a fun environment and compete in a beautiful arena,” Smith said.10 Teams representing 43 counties will compete in a day of basketball tournament action beginning at 8:30 a.m., when the teams enter the Coliseum led by the Big Spring High School Drum line. Big Spring Mayor Larry McClellan will offer opening remarks and introduce honored guests.The late Mayor Russ McEwen will be remembered during opening ceremonies for being an early supporter of Hoops, Dreams and Goals during its inaugural year and for appearing at every event through 2012.The teams will tip off at 9 a.m. and will follow bracket play. Teams participating in are: Big Spring Heat, Sweetwater Red Rattlers, Ballinger Longhorns, Snyder Wildkatz, Seminole Pink Panthers, Monahans/Pecos Warriors, Midland Panthers, Odessa Tigers, Abilene Chili Peppers and the San Angelo Bobcats.Throughout the day, cheer squads from each team will perform during halftime for their own trophy.“When we first planned Hoops, Dreams and Goals we realized that not everyone wanted to compete on the court as a basketball player,” Smith said. “So, we planned competitions among cheer squads and dance teams. Not only have our athletes been practicing, but so have our cheer squads.”Each team also competes for the coveted Spirit Stick, Smith said. “This is a very intense competition. Our judges watch the teams and their fans and their cheerleaders throughout the day and judge them on their level of spirit even when they are watching the other teams play.”Lunch is served to all participants, and nutritious snacks are available throughout the day. A first aid station also is made available to the athletes.The event is free and open to the public. More than 1,000 people are expected to attend the event.“Everyone who has attended in the past has told me that it’s their favorite event of the year,” Smith said. “Everyone who leaves does so with a huge smile on his or her face. The energy is infectious and along with all the music and cheering, it’s just a fun day even for those people who don’t know anyone competing.”The event is sponsored by West Texas Centers, Howard College, The Arc of Howard County, ALON USA, Prescription Services Inc., KBEST, Sonic, First Financial Bank of Sweetwater, The Kent Companies, Cowboys Steakhouse, KBYG, Atmos Energy, and Gallagher.