County hoops team trying to stay solvent, competitive|[03/15/07]

Published 12:00 am Thursday, March 15, 2007

For Mincer Minor, putting together a local AAU basketball team called the Vicksburg Magic is more about life than about hoops.

&#8220I look at this as giving these kids an opportunity to improve their playing skills but also to teach them about life,” Minor said. &#8220It’s something constructive and gets them off the street.”

Starting from scratch, Minor and his associate coaches Peter Anderson and Otis Stamps have been able to build three teams composed of 12-, 13- and 14-year-old boys.

Email newsletter signup

Sign up for The Vicksburg Post's free newsletters

Check which newsletters you would like to receive
  • Vicksburg News: Sent daily at 5 am
  • Vicksburg Sports: Sent daily at 10 am
  • Vicksburg Living: Sent on 15th of each month

&#8220By playing AAU ball, we hope to get these kids exposure from college scouts and open some doors. At the same time, we want to get them fundamentally sound,” Minor said.

Getting the players was the easy part. The tough part now is finding a regular place to practice and to fund a season’s worth of tournament games.

&#8220We’re looking to play between 30 to 50 games. Our first tournament is March 17 at the AAU Warm-ups at the NBA facility in Jackson on Northside Drive. It’s a good facility with five courts and we’re guaranteed three games,” he said

To raise funds, the Magic are selling sponsorships.

&#8220The sponsorship donations, which are tax deductible since we fall under the 501-C3 as a non-profit organization, will help us offset the cost of facility rentals, equipment, awards, officials, basketballs and to minimize registration fees.”

The team is promoting three sponsorship levels: A T-shirt sponsor costs $75, a Billboard sponsor is $200 and a Team sponsor is $1,500.

The Magic is pretty well represented by all three of Vicksburg’s public schools.

&#8220We’re pretty well split between Warren Junior and Vicksburg Junior and we also have three kids from St. Al,” Minor said.