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Tuesday, May 21, 2024

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PREP BASKETBALL: Annual MLK Tournament whets appetite for upcoming season

Terry Davis

The 49 Annual MLK Tournament is a two-pronged event.

It is a round robin event featuring boys and girls teams from high schools and middle schools across the region.  The event is play from November 23rd thru Saturday November 30 at Craigmont, the Streets Ministry Gym, Lemoyne-Owen College and Hamilton High School.

Wooddale hoops star Johnathan Lawson. (Photo: Terry Davis)

The first night of the Premier Games did not disappoint.  The defending state champions Wooddale Cardinals faced the state champion runner up the Olive Branch Conquistadors in an epic game.  The Cardinals won 93-87.

Jonathan Lawson finished with 37 points for the Cardinals. Olive Branch was led by Miss. State signee Cameron Mathews with 19 points.  The game was a game of runs.  At the half Olive Branch had a 45-35 lead.

The Cardinals opened the second half with a 15-0 run to take the lead.  The Conquistadors battled back and retook the lead.  The Cardinals had to hold off a late charge to preserve the win.

Moussa Cisse. (Photo: Terry Davis)

Class of 2021 Moussa Cisse from the Lausanne Lynx was a man among boys.  His team was just too much for the Douglass Red Devils.

Cisse is a transfer from New York City that is wanted by every major college. Cisse had a huge triple double: 31 points 20 rebounds and 21 blocks.

He is being wooed by Kentucky, Georgetown, Duke Kansas, Memphis and many others.  The 6’10” 220 pound power forward is active all over the court.

There’s plenty of great teams and talent at the tournament this season.  For updated bracket and game information please visit http://mlktournamentmemphis.weebly.com.

The first basketball tournament was held in December 1971. Prior to the creation of the MLK Invitational Tournament, inner city youth (as a group) were denied the opportunity to participate in other Memphis and Mid-South Area Tournaments.

The Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Invitational Basketball tournament is symbolic of its namesake, Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. whose philosophy was “Living the Dream.”   Carrying the torch today is Coach Robert Newman of Melrose High School who has struggled, with limited resources, to keep the dream alive.  Thanks to community support, the tournament continues to grow and serve young people!

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