Researching the Union County basketball tournament

Earlier this week, I had the pleasure of speaking at the Friends of the Library’s monthly Lunch with Books session, where I reviewed Michael Oher’s book ‘I Beat the Odds’ for the group.
While I’m not exactly the best person you want to have speaking to your group, I enjoyed it nonetheless, as this is the second time I’ve reviewed a sports book for the group.
Most of them will admit that they do not particularly enjoy reading about sports, but once they hear about the books, like Oher’s, and realize it’s not all about sports, they’re all of a sudden extremely interested. I’m glad that I was given the opportunity to share this book with the group, but that’s not the point of this column.
Getting out and speaking to groups like this gives me the opportunity to not only meet new people outside of my regulars at the ball games, but also to hear your stories and take on Union County sports. It is because of this that I have come up with my summer project.
By now you know I have to find something to keep myself busy while school is out since a bulk of my job revolves around what the kids are doing during the school year.
Cotton States takes up a majority of my time along with any summer football workouts (by now you should know football’s my favorite) and anything else the schools may do during the summer break.
It was brought to my attention about two months ago to research the history of the Union County basketball tournament. And by this I mean go all the way back to the beginning and have everything listed, who won in what year, who has won the most UCT titles, etc.
Having worked in sports information at Ole Miss, I can tell you that projects like this excite me, and it probably wouldn’t take too much time to find everything I need and put together a list for everyone.
But there’s no fun in that, and I, of course, want to get all of my readers involved in the fun as well.
So as my summer project, I’m going to break down each decade of the Union County basketball tournament, find out who won, etc., but I also want to have accounts of those decades from all of you.
Hearing from the people who played is cool, but even if you weren’t an athlete, hearing your thoughts on what it was like, the atmosphere and anything else, will make this much more enjoyable for everyone to read about.
I asked my followers on Twitter to give me the first year of the UCT, and I was given a name of an individual to get in touch with to find that out. Once I get that put together and have a starting point, I would love to hear from anyone and everyone about what took place in what decade.
Some decades may stretch over into two weeks or so, but whatever you want to tell me, I’ll listen.
You can reach me by email, sports@newalbanygazette.com, phone 534-6321 ext. 415 or if you follow me on Twitter, @ezaremba1618.
I look forward to working on this project and hearing from all of you. The first part of this series will run in the next few weeks, once I’m able to gather enough information.

About Chris Elkins

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