BAR HARBOR — The 14th annual Josh Sprague Memorial Basketball Tournament is set for Thursday, Feb. 26, at the Mount Desert Island YMCA. The event honors the late Josh Sprague of Bar Harbor by playing the game he loved in a place he loved.
Now in its 14th year, the Josh Sprague 3-on-3 Basketball Tournament is sponsored by The First. The grade school and high school girls’ and boys’ divisions warm up at 4 p.m., and games begin at 4:30 p.m. Adults will play a 4-on-4 format with a 6:30 p.m. warm up and 7 p.m. games. Participants may sign up individually or as a team; the cost is $15 for youth and $20 for adults. All tournament proceeds benefit youth basketball on MDI.
Last year’s event was “a great success and a really fun evening of basketball,” said Josh’s dad Steve Sprague. “We raised $1,500 for the Josh Sprague Scholarship Fund at the MDI YMCA.” Those funds purchased reversible jerseys for the Y’s travel basketball teams and padding for the backboards in the gym.
Last year’s winners were Bryce Lausier, Rhett McDonald, Isaac Varney and Henry Westrich in the 5th/6th grade division; Parker Madeira, Colby Lee, Andrew Phelps, Billy Kerley and Owen Mild for boys, and Shelby Parsons, Maya Watras, Emma Watras and Caroline McMinimy for girls in 7th/8th grade play. High school winners were Gus Reeves, Russell Kropff and Grady Dobbs.
The first 100 participants receive a tournament t-shirt with Josh Sprague’s retired jersey number. Josh was #22 on the basketball court at MDI, but #5 on the baseball field, Steve Sprague said, and his baseball number was the one the school retired when he passed away. Josh loved that he shared the jersey number with his favorite pro player, Nomar Garciaparra.
Billy Bishop of Tremont remembers playing basketball with Josh Sprague when he was a kid. “Josh was on the high school team, and we were younger but tagged along with him all summer. It was all we did, play pickup basketball. If the tables were turned, I could never see myself letting some random ten-year-old play with me.”
Contact Aaron at the Y at [email protected]