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Bookstore ‘ registration begins

Ryan Sydlik | Friday, March 10, 2006

March Madness isn’t reserved for just the NCAA tournament.

Bookstore Basketball, the world’s largest outdoor five-on-five basketball tournament, is only weeks away.

Registration began this week for the five-on-five tournament, which will kick-off April 4 and end with Championship Day April 30. Teams can sign-up online at http://nd.edu/~bkstr until 11:59 p.m. on March 19.

Senior Luke Maher, Bookstore Basketball commissioner, said he has high hopes for the level of participation.

“We have ambitious goals for the tournament,” Maher said. “We would like to see 700 teams sign up, which amounts to 3,500 people.”

Maher said during the past few years between 600 and 650 teams have registered.

He is “hoping that we can get the campus to come out in even greater force this year.”

Though the organizers of Bookstore Basketball do not discuss the monetary figures from past tournaments or the upcoming tournament in detail, Maher said the group is “able to donate a good amount of money to the Jumpball organization.”

Jumpball is a charity that organizes free basketball camps for underprivileged Jamaican youth to provide an alternative to drugs and violence in their neighborhoods. Jumpball camps are also important because they focus on teaching kids life skills such as leadership, communication, teamwork and dedication, Maher said.

The Jumpball organization was started in 1995 when volunteers from the Notre Dame Alumni Club in Jamaica recognized the need for youth development through sports within inner-city Kingston.

Bookstore Basketball began asking its participants to give to Jumpball in 2002, but didn’t make an official donation until 2005.

And though the tournament raises money for a good cause, it is still a time for students to enjoy sports and the spring.

Maher said he and the rest of the Bookstore Basketball staff are very excited for the 2006 session of the tournament.

“We’re all ready to get into action out at the courts,” he said.