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St. John basketball gears up for Kaman Christmas Classic

St. John’s annual Christmas basketball tournament is kicking it up a notch this year to honor a special man in the school’s history.
The two-day tourney, which will tip off bright and early next Thursday at 7 a.m., is now the Kaman Christmas Classic in honor of accomplished 45-year coach and former Crusader athletic director Dennis Kaman. Current Crusader athletic director and boys’ basketball coach Cody O’Daniel said the name change was an easy decision and one he was proud to make.
“Mr. Kaman has contributed a lot to the game of basketball and he still teaches me about the game to this day,” O’Daniel said.
“I knew it would be good to dedicate this to him because he’s done a lot for St. John and in my heart that felt like the right name change. He knows so much about basketball it can almost overwhelm you when you watch a game with him.
“Mr. Kaman was really appreciative about this decision and I’m glad we could honor him. I’m sure he’ll be at the tournament next week.”
Roughly 15 teams overall will compete in the event, with a couple more in the boys’ bracket. The primary difference from last year is the tourney will now be condensed into two days instead of three, so both Thursday and Friday will be chock full of hoops action.
“We decided with Christmas vacation here we wanted to free up the weekend for everybody,” O’Daniel said.
The Crusaders will have their hands full with tough competition such as 3A Burton Academy and Avalon. Meanwhile, the Lady Crusaders could lock up with a quality team from San Antonio that will be making the trip. The Lady Crusaders were able to come away with second place last year and obviously want to win their final ballgame in the ’07 tournament.
“I’d like to thank Trophy Plus because they’ve done a lot for us, as well as Ennis State Bank, the St. John Booster Club and all of the parents and other volunteers who’ll be helping us out,” O’Daniel said.
The coach is hopeful the tournament will benefit both of the school’s teams in that they won’t go several weeks straight without seeing game action. District play starts right after the holidays and a team can’t ever face too many quality opponents if it’s looking to improve.
Tournament admission will be $5 and O’Daniel is hoping for a great turnout late next week.
“We’d love for everybody to come out and support us,” he said.
“Hopefully they’ll see some good basketball. If you know Coach Kaman, come by and visit with him as well.”

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Posted by on Dec 26 2007. Filed under News. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0. Both comments and pings are currently closed.

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