The Commercial-News, Danville, IL


July 21, 2013

Dustbowl adds junior high division

DANVILLE — When Dwight Lucas co-founded the Dustbowl Basketball Tournament with Dorsey Boyd 41 years ago, it was started as an eight-team men’s tournament in Carver Park, competing against teams from other communities such as Champaign, Bloomington, and East Moline. It has since expanded to a summertime staple in Danville at the David S. Palmer Arena, and has grown to multiple divisions.

This year, another division will be added to the lineup giving junior high student-athletes the opportunity to add their names to the ever-growing list of annual Dustbowl participants.

“We had been thinking about it for some time, but we know that there is a lot of activity at the junior high level with AAU,” Lucas said. “We had many of those kids in our camp but there was no opportunity for them to participate in league play.

“We just wanted to afford them an opportunity to play, so we’re starting out this year with four teams at the junior high level.”

The Junior High division will consist of a four-team, double-elimination tournament, and Lucas expects that with the interest and excitement already generated, it will soon expand to an eight-team tournament.

There is, however, one twist. Rather than introducing both a boys and girls division, the tournament will be co-ed. Each roster will have 12 members, and each team is required to have at least two girls.

“We just want to make sure that we give the young ladies an opportunity to participate,” Lucas said. “Now, we haven’t regulated that they have to get in the game, but certainly we will be watching. If they are on the team, we do expect them to play.”

Each year, the Dustbowl holds a Youth Leadership Camp to provide guidance, motivation, and inspiration that goes beyond the fundamentals of basketball. Junior high students had always been included in the camp, but until this year had not been allowed to compete. So, adding the Junior High division seemed almost inevitable, and is fitting for the East Central Illinois Community Action Agency event which prides itself on community, and specifically the youth of the community.

“I always say the Dustbowl is more than about basketball,” Lucas said. “It’s about being able to be successful, using basketball as a tool to achieve your own personal career goals.”

With a Pee-Wee division tournament already being played, adding middle school students to the mix now covers nearly all age groups, and completes a full expansion of the Dustbowl tournament that was originally created as simply a summer tournament event for men in their early 20s.

“I’m just thankful and blessed that it has been going on for 41 years,” Lucas said. “No one imagined that it would have grown from an outdoors, sandlot basketball tournament to a week-long event engaging the community from four-year olds to 80-year olds.

“It’s a community staple, and we couldn’t do it without the support of our local sponsors and contributors to this event.”

The first game of this year’s Dustbowl is scheduled to tip off at 5:30 p.m. on Monday at the David S. Palmer Arena.

Text Only
  • SPT- CN0725 - Dustbowl photo 2 Stars advance to boys final DANVILLE — The 42nd Annual Dustbowl action continued Thursday at David S. Palmer Arena with the High School Boys basketball division in full swing as four games were played and all eight teams participated. In game one of the winner’s bracket of sem

    July 25, 2014 2 Photos

  • SPT - CN0725 - Atwood photo Baseball community to honor Atwood DANVILLE — Whether it was working on the field or running a tournament, there wasn’t anything that Frank Atwood wouldn’t do for the game of baseball.His love for the game created numerous opportunities for the youth of the Danville area as Atwood ser

    July 25, 2014 1 Photo

  • Dans get a split of doubleheader with Cavemen HANNIBAL, Mo. — The Danville Dans won the first game of a doubleheader with the Hannibal Cavemen 3-1 on Thursday before losing the second game 5-3 to get a split.In the first game, Corbin Olmstead pitched seven innings with eight strikeouts to get th

    July 25, 2014

  • Danville Post 210 Speakers fall to Rantoul CHARLESTON — Playing five games in five days finally took its toll on the Danville Post 210 Speakers.Rantoul’s Tanner McLain delivered a game-winning, two-out single to left to give his team a 6-5 victory over Danville in an elimination game of the F

    July 24, 2014

  • Juniors continue to play at Danville Tennis Open DANVILLE — The juniors were still on the court in the Greater Danville Tennis Open on Wednesday as three division titles were given out.Rachael Lewis won the girls 18 and under singles title with a 6-0, 6-0 win over Lauren Ellis, while the team of Er

    July 24, 2014

  • SPT- CN0723- Dans photo 2 Thurston gets first win DANVILLE — Getting those Ws is the goal of every pitcher.Danville’s Chase Thurston has been seeking his first collegiate victory all year. The former Danville High standout finally got it on Tuesday night when the Danville Dans defeated the Springfie

    July 23, 2014 2 Photos

  • SPT- CN0723 - Dustbowl photo 1 Shooting Stars sprint past MB Squad DANVILLE —Tuesday’s action from the Dustbowl at the David S. Palmer Arena featured two games in the Girls High School Division with two local teams — MB Squad and Shooting Stars — squaring off in round-robin play to advance to Sunday’s championship.

    July 23, 2014 2 Photos

  • Pitching boosts Speakers CHARLESTON — The Danville Post 210 Speakers’ pitching is coming along at the right time.With strong performances from Austin Millholland and Dalton Strawser, the Speakers defeated Piatt County 5-1 to move on in the Fourth Division Tournament.“The sto

    July 23, 2014

  • SPT - CN0722 - Post 210 Baseball photo 1 Speakers stay alive TILTON — Danville Post 210 baseball got their revenge Sunday afternoon and did it in style. After losing to Shelby County in the Fourth Division Tournament opener on Saturday, Danville had to win two games on Sunday if they wanted to advance and keep

    July 22, 2014 2 Photos

  • SPT - CN0722 - VCS photo Youth gets served at VCS Fan Appreciation Night OAKWOOD — The Vermilion County Speedway Fan Appreciation Night was more a spotlight for the youth on and off the track.While kids in the stands had bike races and decided the order for racers in certain feature races, there was a bunch of kids going

    July 22, 2014 1 Photo

NJCAA Tourney Photos 2014

Check out the action at the NJCAA Division II National Men's Basketball Tournament March 18-22 at DACC. Buy photos from the Commercial-News here:

Must Read
AP Video
Raw: Air Algerie Flight 5017 Wreckage Virginia Governor Tours Tornado Aftermath Judge Faces Heat Over Offer to Help Migrant Kids Kerry: No Deal Yet on 7-Day Gaza Truce Kangaroo Goes Missing in Oklahoma More M17 Bodies Return, Sanctions on Russia Grow Gaza Residents Mourn Dead Amid Airstrikes Raw: Deadly Tornado Hits Virginia Campground Ohio State Marching Band Chief Fired After Probe Raw: Big Rig Stuck in Illinois Swamp Cumberbatch Brings 'Penguins' to Comic-Con Raw: Air Algerie Crash Site in Mali Power to Be Restored After Wash. Wildfire Crashed Air Algerie Plane Found in Mali Israel Mulls Ceasefire Amid Gaza Offensive In Case of Fire, Oxygen Masks for Pets Mobile App Gives Tour of Battle of Atlanta Sites
NDN Video
Big Weekend For Atlanta Braves In Cooperstown - @TheBuzzeronFox Chapter Two: Becoming a first-time director What's Got Jack Black Freaking Out at Comic-Con? Doctors Remove 232 Teeth From Teen's Mouth Bradley Cooper Explains His Voice in 'Guardians of the Galaxy' Deja vu: Another NYPD officer choke-holding a suspect 'Fifty Shades of Grey': Watch the Super Sexy First Trailer Now! Reports: Ravens RB Ray Rice Suspended For 1st 2 Games Of The Season Air Algerie plane with 119 on board missing over Mali Diamond Stone, Malik Newman, Josh Jackson and others showcase talent Free Arturo - The World's Saddest Polar Bear A Look Back at Batman On Film Through The Years LeBron James -- Dropped $2k On Cupcake Apology ... Proceeds To Benefit Charity Snoop Dogg Says He Smoked Weed at the White House Raw: Fight Breaks Out in Ukraine Parliament Chris Pratt Interrupts Interview To French Braid Intern's Hair Shirtless Super Mario Balotelli Dances While Ironing - @TheBuzzeronFOX Whoa! Watch "Housewives" Star Do the Unthinkable LeBron apologizes to neighbors with cupcakes Justin Bieber In Calvin Klein Underwear Shoot