The Starkville High Yellowjackets have one last Christmas gift for their basketball fans this week.
Beginning Wednesday and running through Friday, the Jackets will host the “Travis Outlaw Slam Dunk at the Hump” boys basketball tournament.
This is the second year for Starkville to provide area teams the opportunity to compete in what is according to Jackets head coach Greg Carter “one of the nicest coliseums in the SEC.”
“It is something we put together last year and I thought it went real well last year,” Carter said. “I think they all enjoy playing in the Hump. In my opinion, that is one of the main attractions for some of the other schools. Getting to play on a college campus in a college coliseum is a great opportunity. The whole tournament just has a great atmosphere.”
Bearing the name of one of Starkville’s all-time great players, seven teams are scheduled to take part in the tournament. Though the teams hail from different states and towns, the thing that stands out most to Carter is the way a basketball tournament can bring the community together.
“We are able to bring in some out of state schools to play with some local teams and I think it is just great for the community,” Carter said. "In addition, I think it is a great way to keep Travis’ name associated with Starkville basketball and to get it out in the community and around the state.”
Outlaw, a Starkville native, is in his ninth season with the National Basketball Association and is currently in his second year with the Sacramento Kings. Drafted straight out of high school in the first round, Outlaw was selected 23rd by the Portland Trail Blazers.
The tournament is set to feature four Mississippi teams (Aberdeen, Columbus, New Hope and host school Starkville). Joining the local teams will be a team from Hamilton, Tenn., as well as teams from Lanett and Midfield, Ala.
On day one, the Jackets will tip off against Midfield, Ala., at 6 p.m., before facing Hamilton, Tenn., on day two at 6 p.m. Starkville will close the Travis Outlaw tournament by facing Lanett, Ala., at 2 p.m. on Friday, Dec. 28.
Competition will begin at 3 p.m. on days one and two, while on day three action will tip off at 11 a.m. Admission each day will be $7 and includes admittance to all action that day.