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Dribble Over Drugs, more than basketball

By DARRELL SMITH - dsmith@newsexaminer.com

Dribble Over Drugs, the Reunion, is not just about basketball, it’s about helping people in the community overcome addiction and to be successful in life.

The second three-on-three basketball tournament is set for Saturday at Roberts Park with an opening concert Friday night to get things going.

Bryant Hazelman of New Castle earned a scholarship to play basketball in college but lost it when he got involved in the fast life. He now is a recording artist. Kyle Hurd has played professionally since 2001 and toured the United States and Canada. Led by a Connersville native, the Mike Templeton Band will also be on stage.

Organizer Sheriff Joey Laughlin said in addition to the music, some people will talk and there will be a time of remembrance for people who died during the year from addiction. That will start at 7 p.m. in the parking lot south of the James Roberts Memorial Building, next to the basketball courts.

As of Wednesday morning, 20 teams are registered to participate in the tournament but inquiries are coming in all the time, he said. Four registrations came in Wednesday morning and some more are ready to register.

“The men’s division is by far still the biggest,” he said. “We have referees this year so they will more than likely be assigned to the men’s division. We have a few womens teams, few boys teams and few veterans teams.”

There are six courts and each game is half-court so there should be plenty of room for everyone to participate, he said.

There will be plenty of food available with Franco’s ice cream and sno-cones, Faith Builders Ministry with hot dogs and chips, Crosspointe Biker Church will have food and JC Valley Barbecue will have pulled pork, he said.

A tent will be available again for individuals to give testimonies and throughout the day music will be going on, he said. Meridian Health, Centerstone and North Star will have booths to talk with those who have an addiction or to family members of those addicted, as well as for community members to learn about overcoming addiction.

“Fayette Regional Health System has been a huge help,” Laughlin said. “We will have event T-shirts to sell this year that were donated by North Star and Fayette Regional. Shirts are $10 and $12 for XX and above.”

The Jaycees will have bounce houses and an obstacle course for the kids.

He is working on a back-up plan just in case of bad weather.

With the proceeds from the 2017 event, Laughlin said Dribble Over Drugs helped eight people go to rehab during the year, mostly to Harbor Lights in Indianapolis, by paying start-up fees. Many of those came as recommendations from members of the Fayette County Drug Coalition. Others are interested in going to rehab but have not made the commitment.

Through the year, the group made donations to the House of Ruth and Senior Christmas.

There will be special donations made Saturday to groups that have special needs. Some of the money from 2017 has been used for start-up costs for this year’s event, he said.

“Donations this year have been phenomenal,” he said. “We just had a lady who was a classmate of mine make a donation this morning in memory of a friend she lost a few years ago. We’re getting random donations this year in memory of people and just to help the cause. This has been really special.”