Challenge comes to Kreischer Saturday

For all the basketball players who could not get enough glory in high school, this will be a great weekend.

The Mid-American Challenge will take place this weekend on the campus of Bowling Green State University. The tournament will be played on Saturday and Sunday at the Kreischer courts if weather permits at 11 am. If the weather doesn’t cooperate, the tournament will be held at Perry Fieldhouse.

The tournament is of a three-on-three format, with one substitute player allowed for a total of four players to a team. There are separate guys and girls tournaments and it costs 15 dollars per person to register.

The tournament was originated and founded by David Rodriguez. Rodriguez came up with the idea as part of his senior project.

Rodriguez graduated from Ohio University last year with a degree in Sports Marketing. As a way to gain needed experience before hitting the real world, Rodriguez came up with the idea to hold a tournament aimed at the average college student who doesn’t have a basketball scholarship.

“This tournament is aimed at the average student basketball player to showcase their personal and team basketball abilities in the comfort of their own campus,” Rodriguez said.

This is not your average basketball tournament either. Rodriguez went out and gained multiple sponsors for the tournament, which allows for attractive prize packages. Winning teams will get gift certificates to local vendors and the bookstores around town.

Why does Rodriguez go to all this trouble to provide such an enjoyable tournament? He thanks his family and friends, as well as the Sports Management Alliance and his on campus assistant Todd Roll for helping him out immensely. He also cites the support he gets from the participants.

“At the end of last year’s tournament, several players came over to tell me how much fun they had and personally thanked me for having the tournament,” Rodriguez said. “It’s those little things that make you want to keep working to make it bigger and bigger.”

After holding the inaugural tournament at his alma mater last year, Rodriguez said that his assistant Roll gave him the idea of holding this year’s tournament in Bowling Green. Roll is a BG student and let Rodriguez know that the tournament would be a success here.

“Right away Todd let me know that BGSU would be the perfect place to expand the Mid-American Challenge,” Rodriguez said.

“After overwhelming initial support from local BG sponsors to become involved and have their gift certificates become part of the prize package, I knew that the tournament could become a genuine success in Bowling Green also.”

Bee-Gee Bookstore, Showcase Cinemas, Easy Street Café, Al-Mar Lanes, Pizza Hut, Kroger, Serenity, BW3’s and JBR Automotive are just some of the sponsors involved. Every team that signs up will get to play at least two games. However, if a team is to take home the top prize, they have to win every game. A team that loses will drop down into a loser’s bracket and be ineligible for first place. The first place team will take home over $700 worth of prizes. The second and third place teams will also receive prizes.

Perhaps the most alluring part of the tournament is the winning team will take a trip to Athens to play the winner of last year’s tournament next weekend. The trip will include hotel accommodations. Thus, the true Mid-American Challenge champion will be determined.

Rodriguez has had great feedback from the students and hopes the tournament can become a mainstay at Bowling Green.

“As in any sales venture, it takes a while for the word to get out on a product,” Rodriguez said. “However, when it all comes together and the students see the effort that has gone into making this a quality event, this tournament will become a mainstay on the BGSU campus.”

With registration still open until the games begin on Saturday, Rodriguez expects the best of the best to compete.

“We expect to see all the best talent at BGSU.”

Win or lose, all participants in the tournament will be invited to a post tournament party at Al-Mar Lanes on Tuesday, April 29. All those attending will receive free bowling and there will be an awards presentation and a tournament highlight video.

All parties interested in signing up should contact Rodriguez at 216-849-0753 or [email protected]