Makoshika Tourney cut short

Noah French
Sunday, March 22, 2020
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Washington Middle School eighth grader Kobe Smith goes up for a basketball during a Makoshika Basketball Tournament Friday night, March 13. Photo courtesy of Marcy Smith

The 28th annual Makoshika Youth Basketball Tournament, an event that has boasted as many as 100 teams in the past and brings a lot of people to the community, was cancelled after its first day March 13.

The reason for the cancelation is the public health risk presented by the spread of COVID-19.

After initial conversations with the Dawson County Health Department led to the tournament cautiously moving forward, the event was ultimately cancelled ahead of its second day.

The tournament, which is held across five gyms around Glendive, was cancelled in accordance with the CDC’s recommendations against holding large events.

Even before the cancelation, teams who had previously registered were pulling out.

According to Tina Carter, who has helped the Chamber of Commerce put on the Makoshika Youth Basketball Tournament for the past 11 years. The last minute cancelation has the unfortunate side-affect of causing a potentially large loss.

According to Carter, however, the tournament is luckily still going to be able to receive funds from a Tourism Business Improvement District (TBID) grant that had previously been promised for the event.

“That is a little light at the end of our tunnel,” said Carter.

It is unclear at this time what the Chamber will do to remedy the last-minute cancelation and how the TBID grant funds may be used.

Carter explained that the Chamber’s next move is to be determined at a future meeting, at which the issues of potential refunds or rescheduling will likely be discussed.

Glendive Chamber of Commerce Board president Gina Roos said the same, explaining that the event may be replanned for later this year, or else resources like trophies will be repurposed for next year.

While the cancelation was unfortunate, Roos ultimately stressed that the most important thing is protecting the community.

“It was disappointing but at the same time we want to do everything we can to keep people healthy,” Roos said.

For Carter, the largest worry are the workers and volunteers who worked to support the event.

She explained that collegeage referees and community organizations that helped fund the concessions for the event are likely taking the biggest hit.

“Those are the people that are really affected,” explained Carter.

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