Teen basketball tourney

This file photo shows teams competing in last year's basketball tourney for teens. Sponsored by the Cecil County Sheriff's Office, the 2nd Annual 3-on-3 Basketball Tourney for teens will be held Saturday at Elkton High School.

ELKTON —The Cecil County Sheriff’s Office will host its 2nd Annual 3-on-3 Basketball Tourney for teens on Saturday in the Elkton High School gymnasium, with a few changes from last year’s event.

“There will be a new T-shirt style,” said Sgt. Michael Kalinsky, who is assigned to CCSO’s Community Resources Unit, referring to the free T-shirts that will be given to the players.

He added, “There also will be new trophies, and the first 100 fans will receive rally towels in the shape of a basketball.”

The day-long tournament, which is for boys and girls ages 14 to 18, is free. Each team can have up to five players — translating to three on the court and two on the bench — and must have a coach who is at least 21 years old. Every team also will be assigned at least one CCSO deputy who will serve as a volunteer coach.

Registration will be held from 7:30 to 8:30 a.m. Saturday in the gymnasium and the first tipoff is scheduled for 8:45 a.m., according to Kalinsky. To register a team or for more information, people can send an email to matthew.blailock@ccdps.

As of Tuesday night, 11 teams already had signed up for the tournament, including two all-girl teams, Kalinsky said. Planners will decide if this will be a single-elimination or a double-elimination tourney, based on the final number of teams that register, he noted.

“Teams are welcome to register. Last year, we had 10 teams and we’ve already surpassed that,” Kalinsky said, adding, “Depending on how many teams sign up, we can have as many as four games playing at the same time.”

Law enforcement officers with other agencies in Cecil County also will be there Saturday, including a Maryland Transportation Authority Police officer and a Maryland State Police trooper who, as they did last year, will serve as the event emcees and DJs.

“Two (MSP) troopers are coaching two of the teams,” Kalinsky noted, adding with a chuckle, “And the trash talking has already started.”

Chipper, the Herr’s snack food company mascot, is scheduled to make a guest appearance at lunchtime, according to Kalinsky, who told the Cecil Whig that Chipper likely will be handing out free bags of potato chips.

This teen basketball tournament has an intent that goes beyond exercise, competition and fun, Kalinsky said. It is designed to place teens and law enforcement officers together in a fun setting, he added.

“This will give the youth an opportunity to interact with law enforcement officers in a non-traditional way, through athletics,” Kalinsky explained. “This way, they’re not just seeing cops as authority figures, but as people. As the competitive juices flow, they’ll see that police officers are just like them. Who knows, it might even inspire a kid to become a law enforcement officer someday.”

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