Contributed by Brian Burchik, Director of Spiritual Life
2019 marks the third year Mount Vernon Upper School students have embraced March Madness with their own 3-on-3 basketball tournament. The tournament was played over four days during the students’ community time. It included twenty teams with a double elimination format, guaranteeing that each team gets to play at least two games.
Building off the natural excitement around basketball in March because of the NCAA tournament, our students love this competition. Many bring their own jerseys and basketball shoes to wear during tournament play. Just like the real NCAA tournament, there is plenty of “madness” and drama, with big upsets, “cinderella” teams emerging, and a lot of really close games that go right down to the last second.
This year, the winning team was comprised of Jacari Douglas, Andrew Douglas, and Coulton Musser. They had a dramatic finish, having to win three games in a row on the final day. They had to beat the #1 overall seed twice, which is a difficult thing to pull off, but they did it with great shooting and a game-winning shot from Jacari Douglas. The runners-up, juniors Jonathan Hammond, Alex Holiday, and Alex Morge, played a great tournament as well. They’ve played together all three years of the tournament, and they will surely be one of the favorites to win next year’s tournament.
Not only did many students participate as players, but large crowds of students came to watch the tournament each day. Many cheered on their friends and added a lot of fun and excitement to the experience. The final part of the tournament tradition will be next week when a team of MV faculty takes on the tournament champs. In years past, the faculty team has never beaten the student champions, but we are hoping to reverse that trend this year. This tournament has become a tradition at Mount Vernon – so be on the lookout for more March Madness in 2020!