Prepping For Stop DWI Holiday Classic

By Gave Osterhout

July 22, 2010 Updated Jan 4, 2006 at 2:27 PM EDT

For many of the athletes competing in this year's Stop DWI Holiday classic, Christmas was anything but a relaxing time.
With teams coming from as far away as Maryland and Ohio, athletes had to substitute a little bit of their Christmas at home for some time on a bus.
"3 teams that are here already they left Christmas night between 9 and 10 pm, got in here 9 to 10 this morning. We're feeding them, they got good rooms. They're going to be taking naps and getting used to the area," says tournament director Richard Westfall.
Others had to go to bed a little earlier Christmas night, just to catch the bus to Binghamton Monday morning.
"We left about 5 this morning, most of the guys were really excited. I thought they would get back on the bus and go back to sleep, but they talked for about a good hour and a half," says Brian Walker of Friendly High School in Fort Washington, Maryland.
"The drive was really long. I slept the whole drive. WE drove for like 9 hours, making two stops and today we plan on going to the dunking contest and the 3 point contest," says Eddie Gray of Taft High School in Cincinnati, Ohio.
Coaches and players are welcoming the day off before the tournament gets underway on Tuesday.
"The way that we practice, the way that we workout, the way that we left, this downtime is great for them. It kind of gives them the chance for their bodies to heal up and their minds to get back focused," says Mark Mitchell of Taft High School in Cincinnati, Ohio.
This tournament also gives the athletes to focus on a bigger message than just basketball.
The idea is to teach the athletes about the dangers of drinking and driving.
Tournament directors say these young athletes are role models for their entire community and the soon these athletes learn the lesson, the sooner they can spread the word to other children.
And the more children that hear the message, the less that will drink and drive.
Not a bad message from one of the premier high school basketball tournaments in the country.

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