Youth basketball teams love Rochester

Two of the largest annual sporting events for the city of Rochester will be held over the next two weekends.

The Rochester Community Youth Basketball Association (RCYBA) girls tournament will take place this coming weekend and will feature 186 teams in grades 4-8. 2011 marks the 30th anniversary for the girls tournament. The RCYBA boys tournament will be in Rochester on March 5-6. 251 teams will attend the boys event which will celebrate its 33rd year. The tournament directors and RCYBA board volunteers have changed over the years, but the tournaments have always remained well-organized.

I contacted a few of the clubs to get their perspective on what makes the Rochester tournaments so successful. Lisa Martinson from the Minnetonka Buckets Club said her teams like this event because "when coming to Rochester we get to play teams from other areas that we wouldn't normally play during our regular season." You see, this is anything but a local event. Teams travel to Rochester for the weekend from all over Minnesota as well as Wisconsin, Iowa and the Dakotas.

During the regular season these teams will limit their travel to their local area. So for many this year-end event is one time when they get out of their local area. Mike Snyder from the Lakeville North Girls Basketball Club said, "Our kids love staying in a hotel and having fun with friends. Rochester is great place."

Kris Hillesheim from Eagan Boys Traveling Basketball went on to say, "Our teams use the Rochester Tournament as a celebration weekend to wrap-up the season. The boys love staying overnight with all their teammates; the parents like it too."


Rochester should be proud to host these two great events. The teams love our hospitality. Hillesheim added, "There are plenty of restaurants and hotels to choose from. Every time we've been out in the city, businesses are very welcoming - even to a large group of boys."

In addition to putting on a great show for the visiting teams, these tournaments also offer a lot to our local kids. Teams from RCYBA, Rochester Lourdes and Schaeffer Academy participate as well as teams from the surrounding communities like Byron, Hayfield and Stewartville.

So whether you are at the gym supporting one of the local teams or see a team at a restaurant or the mall, please be sure to pass on that welcoming spirit that Rochester is known for.

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