With a brand new facility that is only two years old, why not show it off by hosting a regional or state basketball tournament.
That was Maumelle’s thinking when it put in a bid and received the 4A North Region basketball tournament. Competition begins Wednesday and goes through Saturday.
"I put in a bid for either/or a regional or state," Maumelle athletic director Sherman Cox said. "I felt like we would get one or the other. It is great for our town to have it, and our kids get to play at home. We also get to show off our Maumelle facility. Anytime you host, it is good for the school."
This is the first post-season tournament for Maumelle, and the Maumelle gymnasium seats 2,000-plus. When Cox submitted the bid, he also knew that both the boys and girls teams would be good and have chances to the play in the regional tournament. That panned out as both were teams were 4A-4 district runners-up and have the opportunity of playing at home.
Maumelle did put in a bid last year but was outbid. Cox hopes to one day host a state tournament and can see Maumelle hosting more tournaments. Because the Arkansas Activities Association likes to spread the tournaments around, he is thinking of bidding every other year or every two years. In the meantime, he is preparing for some good basketball. The 4A-4 and 4A-1 from Northwest Arkansas comprise the North region.
"Our conference has good basketball, and there are some good teams in Northwest Arkansas," Cox said. "They are going to be some very good games."
Boys’ basketball Coach Michael Shook is also excited to be playing at home and showing off the facility. He says the players, parents and students are looking forward to playing at home.
"We’ve developed a student section, and they are excited to come and cheer," Shook said. "They are happy they get to cheer and don’t have to travel. Hopefully, we’ll do things right and put a good reputation out there for us."