By Imani Williams
DETROIT- ‘She Got Game!’ was proven true at Casa Maria recreation center where women who like to ‘hoop’ in the community got together in the first of a series of 3-on-3 tournaments hosted by Detroit LGBT organizations SPICE and ISIS youth group. The tournament idea was the brainstorm of ISIS outreach worker and marketing director Natasha Jackson.
“During a youth initiative meeting held by SPICE and ISIS we were discussing how to reach the youth lesbian population since we are currently unable to gain access into Detroit Public Schools. I came up with the idea of sponsoring a 3-on-3-basketball tournament, said Jackson.
“Young women were signed up when Jackson and SPICE teamed up and hit the clubs to get ladies on the roster,” said Jackson. A major obstacle occurred when the recreation center they had reserved canceled their reservation four days before the tournament. Jackson had to locate another facility that had a non-regulation court and was smaller. It was difficult to get the first facility because as Jackson said, “The owner had issues with the LGBT community.”
Not to be deterred, Jackson plans on doing a series of events and can’t wait for the next one. She says about twenty-four women signed up for the first one and she sees this growing with bigger teams and prizes.
She wants to see everyone involved, if not to play then as a spectator that includes folks who are black, white, young old, gay, lesbian and straight.
Melissa Crosby of the Ruth Ellis Center said she came out to play because she, “Loves basketball, and loves being around other lesbians who love the game,” and she says, “I wanted to support this event.”
Jackson has a sponsor wish-list that includes T-shirts, trophies, prizes a larger facility, staff and officials. She smiles and adds, “I want the ‘She Got Game Tournament’ to be as big as it can get!”
To donate or get more information on upcoming tournaments contact firstname.lastname@example.org and asked to be added to the mailing list for upcoming events.