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Valleyball tourney to get started on July 19

Jun. 17, 2013 @ 11:30 PM

HUNTINGTON -- As people head down Spring Valley Drive, they will notice a little bounce in the step of basketball players at RPA Memorial Park.

Games on the basketball court are frequent, but lately they've been a bit more spirited and focused.

That's because in one month, the annual Valleyball Tournament makes its 28th appearance at the court, bringing players from around the Tri-State and beyond to play for bragging rights.

"You can feel the excitement building," Valleyball co-coordinator J.B. Blankenship said. "It's the time of year where even if it hasn't been in players' plans, people start talking about it and looking forward to it."

Blankenship and the Valleyball committee met last week to discuss some items to keep the 3-on-3 tournament growing in its 28th year.

According to Blankenship, the committee is attacking the social media circuits to spread the word to a larger contingent of people who might be interested in participating.

"With the growth of social media, we feel it can really help us out," Blankenship said. "We have a Facebook page and it gets us just as many entries as any other means. We're getting ready to start a Twitter account to get the word out, too."

While the goal for 2013 is to grow the tournament, Blankenship said the committee has also reached out to former players in an effort to get them back out to the court.

Blankenship said several past participants, including former Marshall University basketball player Joda Burgess, are speaking of getting teams together to take on the best Valleyball has to offer.

The tournament has two divisions. The A Division is for teams with players who have collegiate experience. The B Division has players with high school experience or less.

Entry fees are $100 per five-member team. A registration form can be printed off the Facebook page.

Davis' Place of Huntington is Valleyball's keynote sponsor for 2013 and the tournament's Bracket Party will take place there Thursday, July 18, at 6 p.m.

Blankenship said having Davis' Place as a sponsor continues with the Valleyball's theme of keeping the community involved.

"We couldn't be happier that Davis' is backing us because (Davis' Place owner) Gifford Perdue is well-known in the community and he's a Wayne County guy, too, which keeps with the tournament's roots," Blankenship said. "It's a great fit because Gifford loves giving back to the community and that's what Valleyball is all about."

The tournament gets underway with B Division action Friday, July 19, in the evening. Both divisions play Saturday, July 20, and Sunday, July 21, beginning at 8 a.m. to play until champions are crowned.

Proceeds from the event go back into the community. The committee selects a Wayne County athlete for a scholarship each year while also providing support to Wayne County's local sports teams for camps and other needs.

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