Tuesday, January 12, 2016

D-B alumni gearing up for third annual basketball game


KINGSPORT — Next month, a little bit of history will come back to Kingsport when the third annual Dobyns-Bennett alumni basketball game tips off in the Buck Van Huss Dome.
Featuring up to 20 former players, such as Michael Mills and Coty and Gerald Sensabaugh, the alumni game will take place on Feb. 6. The doors will open at 5 p.m., and the game starts at 6 p.m. Tickets will be available for $5 with children 4 and under getting in free.

The event is organized by Frederick Smith, a 1993 graduate of D-B, and his wife through their organization called Best Foot Forward.

“D-B and the athletic program is dear to a lot of people’s hearts,” Smith said. “We get a lot of people coming out.”

Not only is the game played out of love, but the money raised will go to one lucky D-B student in the form of a scholarship. Smith said his group will contact counselors at the school and get them to refer the names of students. Once the names are collected, one will be drawn out of a hat and receive a $1,000 scholarship.

Last year, the money raised went to Xena Taylor, who won an essay contest. The first year, the proceeds from the game went to the D-B Slam Dunk Club.

Smith said with this year being the third alumni game, organizing it has gotten easier. He said the first year was very tedious and very stressful because he had to contact players and coaches, find referees, security, cheerleaders and people to sell tickets. But now that the game is well established, organizing the event has become easier.

“I get people contacting me saying they want to play,” he said. “It’s still stressful but easier. Once it all comes together, it’s worth it.”

Registration is still open for people who would like to play in the game. Anyone wanting to play can visit Best Foot Forward’s website at www.bestfoot forwardco.com   or visit the Facebook page for either Smith or Best Foot Forward. He said they are asking for jersey sizes and numbers.

Putting on an event like this would not be possible without sponsors, Smith said. Some of this year’s sponsors include Mac’s Medicine Mart, Soul Brand Apparel and Citizen’s Bank. Smith said it’s not too late for area businesses interested in sponsoring the event.

The former players will be split up into two teams, featuring the schools iconic colors, maroon and gray. Smith said this year he may have the two coaches pick their teams. He said the first year names were picked out of a hat. Last year, two captains picked their squads.

Not only is the game a chance for old teammates to reunite, but it also gives players from different eras a chance to play together. And it gives players a chance to relive some of their childhood.

“You get to play in the dome again, where we shed blood, sweat and tears,” he said. “That makes it all worth it.”