Pitman High hosted its 12th annual basketball shoot-out tournament on Saturday at Pitman High with 16 local schools participating from the San Joaquin area from as far south as Merced and as far north as Manteca. Pitman, Turlock, and Delhi High were among the competitors.
“We started when Pitman High opened  and it has continued ever since. The main purpose is opportunity to give back to the kids because they put a lot of time and money so what’s different about most camps is that after playing, the players and coaches receive free lunch to go with participating today,” Pitman High head coach and event host Harvey Marabel said.
In its first year in 2001, the tournament began with only eight representatives but since then it has doubled in size. Each team played three games each this year.
Although there is no tournament winner and no statistics are recorded, the purpose of the tournament is for the local high schools to continue their practice and progression throughout the summer. It also helps to give the coaches and team an idea of where they stand when November rolls around.
“Well its summer basketball. It gives us a chance to play together and work together as a team since we have not had a whole lot of practices together all summer,” Turlock High head coach Doug Cornfoot said. “It’s an opportunity for the kids to work together and basically keep their skills sharp.”
It was also an opportunity for the smaller schools to play against schools of higher divisions and face different competition than what they will see throughout the regular season.
“We play teams we don’t play in the summer and it’s great that we play bigger schools and brand of basketball,” Delhi head coach Eugene Drummond said. “We’re missing three starters so we see other guys playing big minutes that usually don’t play, so it gives them an opportunity to work on things and at the same time get away from their normal roles, which are defined in our team and see different parts of the game.”