ALMONTE – The Naismith Basketball Association (NBA) has made the difficult decision of cancelling the Ottawa Valley’s most popular street ball tournament this year due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
“After consultation with the board of directors of the Naismith Basketball Association, and the Town of Mississippi Mills who have long supported our annual event, we have made the very difficult decision to cancel the 2020 (28th annual) three-on-three basketball tournament,” NBA President Matt Bennett released in a statement May 8. “As many people in our community and in surrounding areas know, this event brings together more than 500 players, volunteers and basketball enthusiasts of all ages for a day of competition and fun on the streets of Almonte.”
It is the sole fundraising event for the association, and dollars raised have supported the annual Naismith Basketball Scholarship presented to a graduating student who is moving on to post-secondary education, as well as providing relief for families who struggle to afford registration fees. This is only the second tome in 28 years organizers have had to cancel the tournament.
“Naismith Basketball recognizes these are extraordinary times, and while we are deeply disappointed that the show will not go on this year, our board agreed the conditions will not allow for such a large gathering this summer,” Bennett said. “The association is fortunate to be in a healthy financial position due to prior years’ fundraising efforts therefore, we will continue to offer the Naismith Scholarship to a deserving Class of 2020 grad from one of our local high schools.”
For information on the scholarship, visit the NBA’s website https://www.naismithbasketball.ca
“In addition, we recognize the terrible impact the COVID-19 pandemic is having close to home,” Bennett said. “Our Association will be making a financial contribution to Almonte Country Haven and Stoneridge Manor staff, and to Lanark County Food Bank (The Food Stop) and Lanark County Mental Health, in support of families who are struggling in our communities. From those who have lost their jobs, to those who have lost loved ones or continue to care for our loved ones, our Naismith family stands with you. We are hopeful that by the fall, we will have news of our new regular season. In the meantime, on behalf of our Naismith family, stay safe and stay well.”