Less than two days after winning a tournament in Anchorage Alaska, the countries northernmost state, the East Hall High School boys’ varsity basketball team was playing in the Blue Ridge Mountains.
Even though it would mean 12-14 hours of travel to get there and back, it was an invitation and opportunity East Hall High School Coach Dix felt the team had to accept, and Director of Commercial/Industrial Marketing, Lee Chapman went along as Tip-Off Club President.
“I enjoy being with these kids, supporting these programs, watching my son play ball and seeing the camaraderie he has with his teammates,” Chapman said. “This was an amazing opportunity for these young men. Many of whom had never even flown before.”
Chapman has volunteered as club president for 4 years and seen the team participate in other national tournaments in locations like Charleston, Spartanburg and Tampa but never as far away as Alaska.
“Competing in tournaments around the state, players are expected to represent Hall County. The coaches have taught them that they are not only there to play basketball, they’re representing their hometown on and off the court,” quoted Chapman.
Not only did the East Hall players hit the court in Alaska, they spent a day at a local school, attended an Alaskan Heritage class, a creative dance class, visited a museum and braved the cold to see some of the wilderness outside the town.
It was the first time a team from Georgia had gone north and won the Alaska Airlines Classic. “This was an experience that they will never forget, truly the trip of a lifetime,” Chapman concluded.