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Roundball Classic organizers to step down

Future of charity-driven youth basketball tournament uncertain

by Josh Bootsma

LANSING, Ill. (February 19, 2020) – Lansing Roundball Classic organizers Rick Seymour and Sally Reynolds announced at the Village Board of Trustees meeting Tuesday night that they will no longer organize the charity-driven basketball tournament for Lansing fifth-graders. They expressed their desire for someone else to step up and allow the tournament to continue.

Before sharing the news, Seymour and Reynolds upheld tournament tradition by recognizing the students involved in the Roundball Classic and presenting checks to various organizations.

End of an era

Sally Reynolds and Rick Seymour, who have overseen the Roundball Classic for 11 years, announced that they will no longer be involved in the tournament. (Photo: Josh Bootsma)

“It’s time for us to move on,” said Seymour before the Village Board and a crowded room of spectators. “It’s been exciting, it’s been rewarding, it’s just been a total blast.”

“It has been a great experience doing this for eleven years,” said Reynolds, “we’re hoping somebody else will jump on it and keep this tournament going. We need somebody else out there that is willing to come forward.”

Seymour and Reynolds thanked the Lansing community, schools, students, and elected officials for their involvement in the tournament, which over the last 11 years has raised over $60,000 for local organizations and donated tens of thousands of food items to the Lansing Food Pantry.

Recognizing the 2020 participants

The Roundball Classic is a basketball tournament for fifth graders pitting Lansing’s middle and elementary schools against each other in a friendly, community-focused event. The tournament is open to involvement from Lansing Christian, Coolidge, Heritage, Oak Glen, Reavis, and St. Ann schools, though St. Ann wasn’t able to gather enough players for a team this year.

Sally Reynolds congratulates Reavis coach Matt Cieplucha on his team’s winning the Sportsmanship Award. (Photo: Josh Bootsma)

The Roundball Classic ran Thursday, Feb. 6 through Monday, Feb. 10, when Coolidge Elementary School won the championship trophy. Seymour and Reynolds recognized Coolidge at Tuesday night’s meeting and invited all other tournament participants to come forward as well. Fifth-grade girls who participated in the Roundball Classic’s “Hot Shot” shooting competition were also invited to come forward and be recognized. Jordyn Clark from Oak Glen won the “Hot Shot” competition but was not present on Tuesday night. Reynolds and Seymour awarded Reavis the sportsmanship award.

The large crowd gave a round of applause to all Roundball Classic participants at Tuesday night’s Village Board meeting. (Photo: Josh Bootsma)

St. Ann School took first place in the food drive competition. 5,737 total items were donated throughout this year’s tournament. The 2020 Roundball Classic raised $6,036, the highest amount in the tournament’s history, according to Seymour.

As part of giving back to the Lansing community, Seymour and Reynolds annually present local organizations with donations brought in by the tournament. This year, they presented $675 to the Lansing Food Pantry, $725 to the police department, $725 to the fire department, $1,211 to LARC, and $2,700 to the Lansing Area Chamber’s Family Giving Fund.

The Lansing Police and Fire Departments each received a check for $725. Fire Chief Kooyenga (left) and Police Chief Murrin accepted the checks. (Photo: Josh Bootsma)

“Over the last 11 years, we’ve raised over $60,000,” Seymour said.

Mayor’s comments

Mayor Eidam addressed Seymour and Reynolds after their presentation was finished: “Sally and Rick, thank you for everything that you’ve done for the kids, for the organizations, for giving us an opportunity to help you help our community—it has been a privilege. We appreciate you very much, we understand, and we hope you get your wish of somebody to pick up the ball on move on.”

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Josh Bootsma
Josh Bootsma
Josh is Managing Editor at The Lansing Journal and believes in the power and purpose of community news. He covers any local topics—from village government to theatre, from business openings to migratory birds.