BUCKHANNON – The Upshur County Men’s Summer Basketball League will return to the courts starting this Monday under new leadership.
Mitchell Shaw, who serves as the President of the Board of Directors for the Upshur County Recreation Complex, Inc. (UCRC) will oversee the league as they partner with the Stockert Youth & Community Center
Shaw stated he hopes the men’s league will bring more awareness and donations for the UCRC.
“The goal of the league is to help raise awareness of the mission of the UCRC and help raise money to contribute toward that goal,” noted Shaw. More information about the UCRC can be found at www.ucrcwv.org.
The summer basketball league will feature over 100 players from several counties and 11 teams all with local sponsorships.
“We have players from all over north central West Virginia, including many current collegiate players from Fairmont State, Alderson Broaddus, Davis & Elkins, Glenville State and West Virginia Wesleyan,” remarked Shaw. “We also have both local semi-pro basketball teams, the West Virginia Warlocks and the Buckhannon Bears from the American Basketball Association.”
The 11 businesses sponsoring the men’s league are Appalachian Mineral Title Company, Appalachian Oral Surgery Center, Gold Standard Cleaning Services, JesterLine, KBAM Builders, Pre Played Media, Ralph’s Furniture, The Social, Triple K Kustomz, WBR Utilities and Whitey’s Supply LLC.
“I would like to thank all the local businesses who have agreed to sponsor teams,” stated Shaw. “We had nine Buckhannon businesses and two from the Clarksburg/Fairmont/Morgantown area. They've stepped up in a time when many small businesses are struggling, and their support will not be forgotten.”
The league will play for five weeks with the regular season starting this Monday and running four weeks until July 24. The final week of July will feature the post-season tournament with the championship game slated for July 30.
The league will play its first week at the Stockert Youth Center and the second week at Buckhannon Academy Elementary School. Following the conclusion of that second week, the league will then vote on which location to play at for the rest of the season.
Shaw said plans began for the 2020 season prior to the COVID-19 pandemic which started in early March.
“When we first started planning the season before the pandemic and lockdown, we planned to always have it in the month of July,” said Shaw. “After the lockdown, we started planning for other events or other dates, but continued to plan for July in case things changed so that we weren't caught off guard or unprepared. When Governor Jim Justice put out his guidance for re-opening, I followed it closely. In the plan, he included "Outdoor sporting events with spectators" being allowed after Monday, June 22. At that point we went forward with the plan but continued to keep the team managers involved and aware that the plug could get pulled at a moment's notice.”
Shaw said the league will take all necessary measures to keep everyone safe during the five-week season.
“We've notified all teams that if they have players who are showing any symptoms whatsoever that those personnel should not play and to self-quarantine,” remarked Shaw. “They've also been instructed that no shaking of hands will occur before or after games. All players are being asked to keep their distance when not in the game, and any spectators are being encouraged to wear masks and observe the safe social distancing of 6-feet from those they do not live with. Players have also been reminded not to share water or towels and we will be providing bottles of water for sale in case players forget theirs.”
Shaw said he hopes the community will support the league and its sponsors.
“I would like to encourage folks to stop by and watch (while observing the safe social distancing suggestions of course), and to support those local businesses that are supporting us,” concluded Shaw.
The league will kick-off Monday when Appalachian Mineral Title Company battles The Social at 6 p.m. at the Stocker Youth Center.