By T. Scott Boatright
There’s not much better than hooping it up for the holidays, unless there’s also significant honor involved, too.
And that’s exactly what will happen beginning tonight as Ruston High School plays host to the third annual Remington Butler Basketball Tournament.
The tournament runs through Friday and Saturday.
Butler, who was a freshman member of the RHS boys basketball team at the time, died two days short of his 15th birthday along with his mother Kendra Butler on April 25, 2019, when an EF3 tornado ripped through parts of Ruston, sending a tree crashing through their home.
The first Remington Butler Tournament was held in December of 2019 and was a boy’s team only event.
Last year the tournament was cut to a single game because tournaments weren’t allowed because of the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic.
But this year’s tourney will be bigger than ever before with the addition of a girls bracket.
Tickets to the tournament are $8 per day which will allow fans to attend games being played simultaneously in the RHS Main and Auxiliary Gyms.
“It’s exciting,” said RHS coach Meredith Graf. “We’ve been fortunate enough to get some local teams involved. We’re just trying to make the tournament that much better. We’re ready to jump in and are hoping we have a lot of people in the stands to watch some good basketball and have a good time before the Christmas break.”
Teams playing on the boys side of the tournament will be Ruston, Neville, Arcadia, Jonesboro-Hodge, Parkway, Southwood and Franklin Parish.
In the girls’ competition the Lady Bearcats will be joined by Neville, Arcadia, Jonesboro-Hodge, Franklin Parish, Sterlington and Northwood.
A game between the RHS girls JV team and Northwood will also be included as part of tonight’s action.
“There’s some good match-ups and there should be some competitive games,” Graf said. “When you get local talent and teams, and see some different ones we might not otherwise play, that’s always a good thing for fans and the tournament itself.”
RHS boys coach Ryan Bond said he’s just happy to be able to return the event to a full tournament.
“Because the first one went pretty good, we would have added the girls games to last year’s tournament if it weren’t for the COVID restrictions,” Bond said. “Coach Graf has brought some really good girls teams, and we have a great field of boys teams, too. It’s just going to be good to bring some good teams in here and be able to watch some good basketball.”
“We got to play the game last year and got to recognize (Kendra Butler’s son Cam, who graduated from RHS in 2019) and remember Remington and his mother,” Bond said. “I didn’t get to coach him, but I hear Remington was a wonderful young man. I wish I would have had the opportunity to coach him. I hear he was a good basketball player and an even better kid, so we’re always going to remember Remington and his mother.”
The 2021 Remington Butler Basketball Tournament is as follows:
4 p.m. Jonesboro-Hodge vs. Parkway (Boys)
5:20 p.m. Arcadia vs. Franklin Parish (Boys)
6:40 p.m. Ruston vs. Jonesboro-Hodge (Girls)
8 p.m. Ruston vs. Sterlington (Boys)
4 p.m. Arcadia vs. Neville (Girls)
5:20 p.m. Franklin Parish vs. Sterlington (Girls)
6:40 p.m. Neville vs. Northwood (Girls)
8 p.m. Ruston JV vs. Northwood JV (Girls)
4 p.m. Sterlington vs. Jonesboro-Hodge (Girls)
5:20 p.m. Southwood vs. Jonesboro-Hodge (Boys)
6:40 p.m. Franklin Parish vs. Northwood (Girls)
8 p.m. Ruston vs. Parkway (Boys)
4 p.m. Northwood vs. Arcadia (Girls)
11:20 a.m. Franklin Parish vs Jonesboro-Hodge (Girls)
12:30 p.m. Southwood vs. Franklin Parish (Boys)
2 p.m. Neville vs. Arcadia (Boys)
3:20 p.m. Ruston vs. Arcadia (Girls)
To report an issue or typo with this article – CLICK HERE