Basketball stars of the past and future will take the court Saturday in the Floyd County Alumni Basketball games at Floyd County High School. Four, possibly five games will be played.
Assistant Principal and former Athletic Director Travis Cantrell started the alumni games after his son Joshua died of cancer in 2007. The Cantrell family also hosts a fall concert as a fundraiser in honor of Joshua.
“Since we’ve held these events, we’ve raised about $60,000,” Cantrell said. “We’re able to provide three or four scholarships a year, depending on how well we do.”
The Buffalo Booster Club attempted alumni games for a few years in the 1970s. FCHS was a relatively new school so there was a smaller base of alumni, and Title IX had just opened opportunity for girls, so during that brief time, there was only one alumni game a year, featuring graduates from odd-numbered years versus even-year graduates.
This year’s format includes a women’s game at 11:00, a 12:30 game for older men, mostly from 20th century teams, and a 2:00 men’s game for more recent graduates.
There will also be a kid’s game at 10 a.m. “If we have enough interest, we might get a younger kid’s game at 9:00,” Cantrell said. The younger men’s game will include some players who just recently completed their high school careers. The 20th century team will have a wide range of ages.
“John Harris and Hosea Blankenship have played in most of our games,” Cantrell commented. They completed their high school eligibility over 50 years ago.
“We get a lot of local players, but some former players come from out of town. The O’Neils. (brothers) Doc and Jabe, usually play, and Leigh Anne Pursifull comes from South Carolina.”
There will be an open gym for alumni practice tonight (Thursday) from 6 to 8.
Participation fee at the games is $20, and spectator admission is $5.