GULFPORT, MS (WLOX) - What could bring coast fire departments, police departments and community leaders all together under one roof? Basketball, of course. The Boys and Girls Club held its first annual 911 Coastal Classic Benefit Tournament Saturday at Gulfport High School.
Police officers, fire chiefs and even city officials were dribbling up and down the court. Gulfport Mayor Billy Hewes didn't mind hanging up his suit and tie for a shot or two at the basket.
"You know it's all for a great cause, to come out here and have a good time. You know, it looks like we got a good crowd to come out to either cheer us on or laugh at us. Either one it's going to be great," said Hewes.
All proceeds from the tournament went to the Boys and Girls Club. Tim Adams was one of the organizers. He said setting up this event was an honor.
"I personally benefited from the Boys and Girls Club when I stayed in Jackson, and I jumped at the opportunity to pay it forward," said Adams.
Most of the day was a tournament between police departments and fire departments. Part of the tournament included a shoot-out between community leaders. Among them was Gulfport City Council President Ricky Dombrowski. After a few rounds showing off his athletic prowess, Dombrowski won. He said this tournament meant a lot more than just winning and losing.
"We need to support all of our kids in the community and do whatever we can to keep them active, keep them off the streets from doing drugs and doing the things they don't need to get into," said Dombrowski.
Another organizer, Kenneth Means, said he couldn't have been happier with the turnout.
"The Boys and Girls Club really benefited from this event. We look forward to having it again next year. We plan to expand the audience. We're going to bring in more teams, and we see it as something that could really be a good foundation for the Boys and Girls Club, and we could really raise some money for a charitable cause," said Means.
The teams included police and fire departments from Gulfport, Pass Christian, Moss Point, Pascagoula and Keesler Air Force Base. The overall tournament winner was the Gulfport Police Department with a 30-26 win over the Pass Christian Police Department.