GALVESTON — There were basketball, songs, dancing, motivational talks from the local Shiloh Church and free food and drinks, but, most importantly, there were donated school supplies for area children and a strong sense of community Saturday at the Third Annual Basketball Shootout at Wright Cuney Park.

With multiple types of activities from 9 a.m. to 7 p.m., the main attraction was basketball contests between alumni teams from Ball High, La Marque and Hitchcock, as well as two teams from the Austin and Dallas areas.

Event organizer ‘Tre Hollins, an Austin native, said he wanted to bring the shootout to Galveston because he felt the kids there needed a little extra help as they prepare to go back to school.

In its first year, Hollins said the shootout drew a crowd of less than 100, but has grown to the point of attracting well more than 200 people on Saturday.

“Each year, it seems like it’s growing and growing,” Hollins said.

Events like the shootout not only serve the purpose of helping those in need, it also inspires others to make their own mark in doing the same. Such is the case with Ricky Simon, one of the players on the La Marque alumni team.

Simon, who played basketball at Texas A&M-Kingsville after graduating La Marque and just received his master’s degree in finance at North Texas, said he hopes return to the area to open an investment firm, as well as invest heavily in the local community.

“’Tre and I have talked about starting to work with the high school kids and try to steer them in the right direction when it comes to college and helping them with financial aid because there’s a lot of stuff the kids don’t know,” Simon said.

Contact Sports Editor James LaCombe at 409-683-5242 or james.lacombe@galvnews.com.

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