JCAAA Basketball tournament kicks off in Gulfport

JCAAA Basketball tournament kicks off in Gulfport

GULFPORT, MS (WLOX) - On Saturday, several teams came out to participate in a special basketball tournament for multiple Job Corps branches.

Gulfport Job Corps player and Trojans coach Lettrius Walker hopes to lead his team to victory.

"Every since I came to job corps, it helped me better my life. Helped me get a high school diploma and helped me see what future and career I want to start in," said Walker.

Event organizer Gregory Ben says the game is about more than going at it head to head on the court. It's also about a basketball revival in Gulfport.

"Katrina took the event away for a long time, and sports haven't been the same in Job Corps since. We're trying to get it back to where it's bigger than what it was," said Ben.

Former player Sammie May played for the team back in 1991. He hopes to see the newer generation carry the torch.

"Job Corps was once upon a time a national power. Since Katrina hit, everything has changed the whole landscape of the team," said May.

Organizers hope a championship win can bring that power back to the Trojans.

"I've never been to the championship with my basketball team. We made it there, but we never won it. Tonight I'm gonna help my team. We're gonna focus on winning this thing. We're gonna win it all the way this time," said Walker.

The winner of Saturday's tournament will advance to the national JCAAA Tournament.

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