BAR HARBOR — Twelve youth teams and six adult teams took part in the 19th annual three-on-three Josh Sprague Memorial Basketball Tournament March 27-28 at the Mount Desert Island YMCA, which raised more than $800 for MDI youth sports programs
The tournament honors Josh Sprague, who died in a car accident in March 1999 at the age of 18. He had been a member of the MDI High School basketball team.
“It’s always a fun event that gets the community together and playing basketball,” said Garrett Lee, the YMCA’s sports director. “This was another successful year.”
The youth teams played on Thursday, the adults on Friday.
“It’s one of the most enjoyable events of the year for me personally,” said Andy Shea, an organizer of the tournament who oversees the youth division. That includes teams in four grade-level groups: third and fourth, fifth and sixth grade, seventh and eighth and high school.
“This year it was another great night of chaos and basketball,” Shea said.
Prior to the start of play, he gathers the players together and gives them a brief history of the tournament and its namesake.
“The kids don’t know who Josh Sprague was, so we tell them about him, that he was a gym rat just like them.”
Shea said that when he was growing up in Bar Harbor, he played basketball at the Y with Josh Sprague’s father, Steve.
“So, this tournament is something that was pretty logical for me to want to be a part of,” he said.
Registration fees for the tournament help support youth sports activities at the YMCA and in the community. For example, the money is used to help buy equipment and uniforms and to provide basketball camp scholarships.