Big games and rivalries are what legends are made of. The game on Saturday afternoon, March 11, was no different as parents and community members came together to watch the thrilling Minneapolis Park and Recreation Board 2023 Invitational Youth Basketball 13U Championship Game between Jerry Gambles Boys and Girls Club and Hospitality House, both of North Minneapolis.
The steady snowfall did not deter the crowd as cars were tightly parked on all blocks leading to the Colin Powell Community Center located off Lake Street in South Minneapolis.
From the tip-off, the game was competitive, physical, and close. Hospitality House, whose players were visibly smaller in size, kept a slight lead throughout the game until the last 60 seconds of the game when the Boys and Girls Club hit a three to take the lead by one point with six seconds left on the clock.
After receiving an inbound pass, Hospitality House’s Ira Thomas, Jr., streaked past half court and threw up a shot with one second on the clock—it kissed the backboard and bounced in. Game over!
The crowd erupted off the bench and onto the court—some with cheers, others with tears. Although the final score was 35-33 in favor of Hospitality House, it seemed everyone agreed that there really were no losers as the well-coached teams were both celebrated by the crowd.
That’s what community is supposed to be.
See photo highlights of the game below. All photos by Travis Lee.