Roundball Classic championship celebrates community

Organizers Reynolds and Seymour present trophies, checks at Village Board meeting

by Ashlee De Wit and Melanie Jongsma

LANSING, Ill. (March 2019) – The Coolidge Cougars are the 10th annual Roundball Classic champions, defeating the Heritage Nationals by a score of 39–16 in the final game on Tuesday, February 26.

Sally Reynolds and Rick Seymour, who have organized the contest for all 10 years, were at the Village Board meeting on March 5. “It’s been an amazing, amazing journey putting this thing together,” said Seymour. “And I think this year was the biggest crowds we’ve had.”

Winners

Members of the finalist teams were present, and Seymour called them to the front of the room to receive their trophies. He also honored the two finalists in the girls Hot Shot contest—winner Jesssica Campuzano of Oak Glen and Savannah Thomas of Lansing Christian. The winners received a traveling trophy to display proudly this year.

The Lansing schools and community raised more than $5,000 and brought in more than 5,000 food items for the Lansing Food Pantry during this year’s tournament. Over the 10 years of the tournament, more than $50,000 has been raised for various local groups.

This year’s donations benefitted LARC, the Lansing Food Pantry, Lansing Meals on Wheels, the Chamber of Commerce Family Giving Program, and Super Teci. Representatives from each group had the opportunity to speak to the crowd on the night of the championship game, and they spoke again at the Board meeting as they received their checks.

Roundball Classic organizer Rick Seymour (left) presents a check for $1,000 to Joann Kijewski of the Lansing Meals on Wheels program. (Photo: Melanie Jongsma)
Karen Adams of the Lansing Food Pantry expresses gratitude for the $1,000 check as well as the 5,000 food items that were donated. The Roundball Classic provides their biggest intake of food throughout the year. “I am so proud to be a part of Lansing,” Adams said through tears. (Photo: Josh Bootsma)
“The word ‘thank-you’ seems so inadequate for such a wonderful event,” said Ernie Gonzalez as he accepted a check for $3,000 for LARC. “But on behalf of the people we serve, thank you very much.” (Photo: Melanie Jongsma)
Amy Todd (right) and Susan Thompson (left) of the Lansing Area Chamber of Commerce accept a check for $4,156 to help fund the Family Giving Fund, which benefits local school kids. (Photo: Melanie Jongsma)
Elizabeth Avila’s daughter Teci (known as Super Teci) was accepted into a special rehab program that is not covered by the family’s insurance. A check for $1,500 will help the family provide the care and treatment Teci needs. “We feel so grateful and blessed,” said Avila at the championship game. “The Lansing community has been so supportive, and I know they’re praying for us.” (Photo: Josh Bootsma)

MLB player and TF South alum Curtis Granderson had pledged to match up to $5,000 of donations, and his check arrived Monday morning, so Seymour and Reynolds were able to give away a total of $10,656. “[Granderson] has been so generous to this community—it’s just unbelievable how generous he is,” said Seymour. “And what a great young man he is as well.”

The championship game (Tuesday, February 26)

To get to the championship game, Coolidge went undefeated at 4–0 in tournament play. Heritage finished 2–2, tied with Lansing Christian—but the Nationals defeated the Warriors in head-to-head play to earn their spot in the title game. Reavis and Oak Glen each went 1–3.

St. Ann Catholic School did not field a team in the tournament this year, but they were recognized for their food drive donations: they brought in the most food items per student. Coolidge was chosen for the James “Ray” Shrader School Spirit/Sportsmanship award.

In the championship game, Coolidge got off to a big lead early, and Heritage never recovered. The Cougars were crowned champions and preserved their undefeated tournament record. Josh Bell was named MVP of the game for Coolidge, and Corion Scott got the MVP nod for Heritage.

Mayor Patty Eidam throws the ceremonial tip-off for Heritage’s Jordan Coleman and Coolidge’s Josh Bell. (Photo: Ashlee De Wit)
Heritage’s Robert Gillard dribbles the ball. (Photo: Ashlee De Wit)
Coolidge’s Torrence Tate (22) drives to the basket. (Photo: Ashlee De Wit)
The South Suburban men’s basketball team attended the game to show support for the community. At halftime, they updated the crowd on their season and encouraged the students. (Photo: Ashlee De Wit)
Lansing Christian’s Savannah Thomas competes in the Hot Shot final at halftime of the championship game. (Photo: Ashlee De Wit)
Teammates congratulate Oak Glen’s Jessica Campuzano on her Hot Shot win. (Photo: Ashlee De Wit)
Coolidge won the Roundball Classic championship game, 39-16 over Heritage, at Memorial Junior High School on Tuesday night. The Cougars went undefeated in the tournament. (Photo: Ashlee De Wit)
The championship teams pose for a picture together to demonstrate sportsmanship. (Photo: Ashlee De Wit)

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