The athletic directors from the four participating schools met with McDonald’s of Fayette County and Jamestown owner and operator, Nick Epifano, on Monday to finalize plans for the 2015 edition of the annual McDonald’s Holiday Basketball Tournament.
Again this year, the four participating schools are Miami Trace, London, Madison Plains and Greeneview.
The tournament will include varsity girls and varsity boys, along with junior-varsity boys and junior-varsity girls.
The tournament tips off on Tuesday, Dec. 22 with the varsity girls semifinals at Greeneview High School. The first-round match-ups, which are the same in all four tournaments, features Miami Trace taking on London at 6:30 p.m. with Madison Plains to follow against Greeneview at 8 p.m.
The varsity girls consolation game is set for 6:30 p.m. Wednesday, Dec. 23 at GHS. The championship game will follow at 8 p.m.
The junior-varsity girls tournament will feature first-round games at 1 p.m. and 2:30 p.m. on Tuesday, Dec. 29 at Madison Plains High School. Miami Trace will play London first, followed by Madison Plains taking on Greeneview. The consolation game will be at 1 p.m. on Wednesday, Dec. 30 with the championship game at 2:30 p.m.
The junior-varsity boys tournament will be on Dec. 29 and 30, with the same starting times as the junior-varsity girls tournament, only the j-v boys will play at London High School. Madison Plains will play Greeneview first, followed by Miami Trace going up against London.
Miami Trace High School will again be the host site of the varsity boys tournament on Tuesday, Dec. 29 with Madison Plains facing Greeneview at 6:30 p.m. and Miami Trace taking on London at 8 p.m.
On Wednesday, Dec. 30, the boys varsity consolation game is at 6:30 p.m. with the championship at 8 p.m.
Tickets for the varsity tournaments are $6 each. Tickets for the j-v tournaments are $5 each.
There will be all-tournament teams of five players, plus an MVP honored for the boys and girls varsity tournaments. Players on the all-tournament teams will receive a trophy and a pullover.
“First and foremost, anytime we can be a part of the schools, in anything that we do, we love to do that,” Epifano said. “We appreciate our customers, who patronize McDonald’s. We appreciate our employees for what they do. They give us the opportunity to invest back into the community and do some of the things we do, like this basketball tournament.
“I’m happy to say that in the eight years we’ve been a part of the tournament, we have raised over $32,000 in uniform money and over $70,000 total in funds for the four schools. We’re happy to still be a part of it; happy to be a part of the tradition in Fayette County.”
“The McDonald’s Holiday Tournament is a unique opportunity for four local communities to come together and support their boys and girls basketball teams,” Miami Trace Athletic Director Aaron Hammond said. “This tournament would not be possible without the generous support and contributions of Nick Epifano. With individuals like Nick supporting this tournament, our young men and women have the opportunity to compete in front of large crowds over the Christmas holidays. Hopefully families can come and support their family members and see some good basketball at the same time.”
Each year, two of the four schools receive $2,000 to put toward new uniforms for their basketball teams. This year, Miami Trace and Greeneview will each receive $2,000 to help purchase new uniforms, according to Hammond.
“I’ve been at Madison Plains for quite a long time and this tournament is something we look forward to every year,” Madison Plains Athletic Director Matt Mason said. “We get to play some local schools that we don’t get to play know that we’ve switched leagues. It’s always one of our best fundraisers throughout the year.
“Nick’s been great,” Mason said. “There are lots of teams that would not get new uniforms were it not for this money that we get every other year. It’s a great way for our community to come out and support our kids over Christmas break. It’s a special time for us. Nick’s generosity goes a long way for a school our size.”
“We’re very appreciative of Mr. Epifano,” London High School Athletic Director Jim Wolverton said. “This is my fourth year as athletic director and, the donations from the tournament really go a long way in helping with our uniforms. It is very much appreciated.”
“I’d like to thank Nick and McDonald’s,” Greeneview High School Athletic Director Mark Rinehart said. “He’s been doing this for, I think, eight years now. He’s the owner of our McDonald’s in Jamestown. He’s doing more with us each year. Our kids love it. It’s a good opportunity for us. Our league schedule kind of takes a break over the holidays, so, this is an opportunity to play some non-league games and play for something. It’s a great partnership.”
Reach Chris Hoppes at 740-335-3611, ext. 1104, or on Twitter @choppes1