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Kids learn about healthy relationships, compete at Midnight Hoopz

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ARLEE — On Friday, June 17, kids and families gathered at the Arlee Pow Wow Pavilion for an annual Midnight Hoopz three-on-three co-ed basketball tournament. 

A free event for kids that’s been held for over 10 years, no one is turned away for cost. “We’re trying to benefit as many people as possible,” Paul Phillips with CSKT Tribal Health explained. A collection of non-perishable foods brought by attendees was gathered on one end of the courts for the Tribal Health Food Shelves, furthering the good will of the day. 

Each event has had a theme meant to teach something important to the children playing. This year’s theme was Healthy Relationships. With a presentation by a guest speaker to educate on the topic, an Honor Song performed by Buck Shot, and a free evening meal, attendees were in good spirits when it came time to hit the courts. 

The games were split into third and fourth graders, fifth and sixth graders and seventh and eighth graders facing off. Six courts were set up to allow multiple games at once, with around 125 kids participating. Families showed up en masse to support the players, some up front and coaching while others cheered on the sidelines.

The third and fourth grades winners were 406 Flight Time, fifth and six grade winners were Hoop There It Is, and the seventh and eighth grade winners were Running Gun.

Winning teams were photographed with their brackets and kids walked away with championship shirts and a variety of prizes including floating tubes and portable battery chargers. 

More Midnight Hoopz events will be held througout the summer. The next event is planned for the weekend of the Elmo Powwow in July and will include contests for middle through high school age.

“The kids come in and have a good time and enjoy the day,” Phillips said. “It’s a good time for everybody.”

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