Hoops, Dreams and Goals tips off March 25

BIG SPRING – All the makings of a top-notch basketball tournament are in place for the Seventh Annual Hoops Dreams and Goals 2011 competition scheduled for March 25, at the Dorothy Garrett Coliseum.Teams from Big Spring to Pecos to Ballinger to Snyder will compete in a day of basketball tournament action beginning at 9 a.m. with the grand entrance, followed by a rousing welcome from West Texas Centers CEO Shelley Smith, LMSW.“This day is my favorite day of the year,” Smith said. “I bet every person will be smiling and leaves in a great mood. It’s just great fun for participants and fans.”The event is sponsored by West Texas Centers, Howard College, The Arc of Howard County, ALON USA, Prescription Services Inc., ViaMedia, KBST, Cox Jewelers and Gallagher Benefit Services, Inc.         Teams from the 23 counties served by West Texas Centers – the designated mental health and mental retardation authority for rural West Texas and surrounding areas, including Abilene, Midland-Odessa and San Angelo - will compete throughout the day, capping off months of preparation for the competition.They will be accompanied by coaches, cheerleaders, pep squads and friends and family who will cheer on their efforts on the court.The daylong basketball hoopla kicks off in the morning with the rousing beat of the Big Spring High School Drum Line followed by a welcome from Big Spring Mayor Tommy Duncan and an introduction of the honored guests, including District Judge Tim Yeats, Representative Jim Landtroop, ambassadors Russ McEwen and Joe Heflin.Teams participating in bracket play 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 and compete for top cheer squad.Teams aren’t just judged on their level of play, but how much enthusiasm they bring to the game, Smith said. Each team also competes for the coveted Spirit Stick.“Judges watch the teams, fans and cheerleaders from the moment they walk in the door until the last game is played and judge them on how much they cheer for their teams and for other teams,” Smith said.The event is free and open to the public. More than 1,100 people are expected to attend the event.“Our athletes really enjoy when people in the community come to watch,” Smith said. “I encourage everyone to come out and watch us in action. It will be sure to put a smile on your face.”For more information, call Amy Vidal at 432 263-0007.