STOP-DWI Tournament Dinner: Sending a Message

By WBNG News

December 28, 2012 Updated Dec 28, 2012 at 11:08 AM EDT

Binghamton, NY (WBNG Binghamton) High school basketball players from as far as Kentucky will be hitting the local hardwood for the Mirabito STOP-DWI Holiday Class Friday.

But on Thursday, teams got a lesson in the message behind the competition, and it's one that could save many young lives.

Event coordinators said DWI fatalities for this age group go up around prom and graduation.

Their goal throughout the weekend is to reach out to high schoolers now to prevent those accidents from ever happening.

Players had the opportunity to listen to two keynote speakers, including a motivational speaker from Vermont and Binghamton University Head Basketball Coach Tommy Dempsey.

Players said the speakers inspired them to take a close look at their life choices.

"The point of the whole tournament is to say to the community that drinking and driving is a problem, and a lot of kids realize they do it," said Adam Terboss, Susquehanna Valley High School.

"What I'm learning is that you have to take everyday step by step, you have to take care of your body," said Thomas Holley, Abraham Lincoln High School. "Just be thankful for everything you have, the people around you like your parents, friends, your coaches."

There are 16 teams playing in this year's tournament.