Stillwater News Press

Sports

August 1, 2012

Mid America Youth Basketball Girls national tournament returns to Stillwater

STILLWATER, Okla. — In Rob Edmission’s 16 years as tournament director for the Mid America Youth Basketball Girls National Championships, he’s only caught brief glimpses of the games. That’s what happens when you’re in charge of one of the biggest basketball tournaments in the nation.

“When you’re the tournament director, I spend more time running and putting out fires — going from site to site,” Edmission said. “I’ll go most of the tournament without ever watching a game take place. Most of the times I’m not even in the gyms per se. I get transferred from one place to the next just being a troubleshooter.”

Edmission will once again be called on to help as nearly 100 teams and 1,000 girls from as far away as Louisiana and New Mexico, descend on Stillwater for the MAYB Girls National Championships starting Friday at Oklahoma State’s Colvin Center and Stillwater High School.

“We’re very fortunate that the Colvin Center at Oklahoma State provides us with eight gym floors in an area that’s attractive along with Stillwater High School,” Edmission said. “It would be nice if there were a few more floors in Stillwater because we could bring more age groups back. The tournament has grown so much since we first started here eight years ago. We had pretty much the whole tournament in the Stillwater area.”

Players ranging from third through sixth grade will come to Stillwater with dreams of a national championship. Not everyone will walk out with a trophy, but Edmission said the participants will gain something even more valuable — experience on a big stage against the best competition in the nation.

“It just provides an opportunity for kids to get a chance to play, be in the gym and be on a team, so I think that’s a pretty good place to be,” Edmission said. “There are a lot worse places that kids can be this summer other than playing basketball. It provides a great opportunity for these young ladies to start honing their basketball skills at a young age before working on it all the way up through their high school days.”

As far as the tournament goes, Edmission said since he hasn’t seen many games. He isn’t sure who will be the favorites this year. But he does feel that the teams from Stillwater do have a slight advantage over the rest.

“I’m sure it’s like any aspect in sports,” Edmission said. “If you’re on a team where you get to (play) at home and not have to stay in a motel and eat out, that might give you an advantage. ... From a competitive advantage, if it’s a local team they have a few advantages where they have a place to go after games. There’s a lot of down time. You only play two or three hours a day so the rest of the time you have to find shopping and find other things to entertain yourself with.”

When it comes to what the future of the tournament holds, Edmission hopes it will return for at least a ninth year — if not many more.

“We hope they bring it back here next year,” Edmission said. “That’s up to the national office, though. The last eight years we’ve done pretty well, so hopefully it stays here. It’s great for Stillwater and great for Oklahoma to be able to host an event this size.”

 

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