Players, teams, referees, Coach K, Air Jordans, competition, delicious food, Samp, Jodan -these are some of the words that initially define the Southeast’s 10th Annual Basketball Tournament. This year’s tournament took place at BAPS Shri Swaminarayan Mandir, Atlanta. The purpose of these tournaments is to increase and maintain unity throughout the region, while still having fun. This year was something special for the Southeast region because it was their 10th Annual tournament. The Nation’s first tournament was held in Atlanta, GA; the Southeast kept it as tradition and kept it going for a continuous 10 years, making it the longest running Basketball Tournament in the entire nation. Many teams throughout the region took part in this tournament. Astonishingly this year, the total number of teams grew to 54 and the total number of volunteers reached close to 40.
Volunteers played a big role in this tournament. They woke up early; setup breakfast, lunch, and dinner; setup the tournament and cleaned up after it. They worked tirelessly day and night to serve the participants and ultimately Maharaj and Swami.
The MVP Award is worth a lot and it can mean a lot to any eligible player. It is up to the player to meet the standards of this award. The following prasang shows the true characteristics of a MVP player. The high school division MVP this year was Dipakbhai Patel from Orlando. This player has many great skills, from dribbling to driving to shooting the best three pointer in the game. During one of the games Dipakbhai had the basketball while his defender was defending him. Dipakbhai faked a three, and other player jumped trying to block it, but unexpectedly the defender fell on the ground hard. At this point Dipakbhai was wide open and had the perfect chance to shoot a three pointer, but instead he stopped and helped the other opponent get off the ground. The shot could have been easily taken, but instead a great sacrifice was made by helping the defender. This exemplifies the samp and jodan this tournament brought amongst players.
This year’s college division was interesting because both teams in the finals were from Atlanta - In-10-city and ATL Shikhars. In-10-city won the finals claiming the championship for 2011 and the 10th year of the tournament. During the last phase of the tournament, an award ceremony was arranged and trophies were to be handed out by P. Mahant Swami. When In-10-city was called to claim their trophy for winning the championship, one of the players from In-10-City went up to the podium and also called upon the ATL Shikhars to claim the trophy as well. The player said, “This trophy is worth nothing without our fellow team, the ATL Shikhars.” This action also shows the true samp and jodan between both teams deeming the tournament a success.