SLEEPY HOLLOW, N.Y. -- Mimi Godwin vividly recalls the moment more than 23 years ago when her husband, Howard, first proposed the idea of a holiday basketball tournament at Sleepy Hollow High School.
“The only awards ceremony they had for kids in 1991 was a small event in the auditorium, and (Howard) came out and said, ‘For these kids to wear the red and white and have pride in the school, they need something’,” said Mimi Godwin, who is a longtime Tarrytown school board member and currently its president. “Howard said, ‘Wouldn’t it be great to have a basketball tournament that would be theirs (the athletes')? They would own it.” The Godwins approached the then-schools superintendent and offered to fully sponsor a “first-class” basketball tournament, which began with just girls and now has evolved into an eight-team, boys and girls tournament renamed the Howard Godwin Holiday Basketball Tournament last year.
“The tournament is very important to our family, to the kids and the school,” Mimi Godwin said. Although Howard Godwin passed away in April 2012, his legacy of pride in the community and its children lives on and thrives. Mimi Godwin joined Athletic Director Chuck Scarpulla on Monday, Nov. 24, to begin preparation for the tournament. The two hung tournament T-shirts dating to the first one in 1992 in the school’s sports awards showcases outside the gymnasium.
“Howard Godwin was a wonderful, humble man, who cared so much about the community. It’s an honor for me to help continue this great tradition,” Scarpulla said. Still fully sponsored by the Godwin family, proceeds from the sale of tickets go to the school’s annual sports awards dinner. Tickets are priced at $2 for students and $4 for adults and may be purchased at the door.
This year's tournament includes girls’ teams from Sleepy Hollow, Mamaroneck, Lincoln (Yonkers) and Clarkstown South. The boys’ teams are from Sleepy Hollow, Edgemont, Tuckahoe and Gorton (Yonkers).
The tournament opens Thursday, Dec. 4, at 4 p.m. with two boys’ semifinals, including a 6:30 p.m. game between Sleepy Hollow and Edgemont.
Girls’ semifinal games are set for Friday at 4:30 and 6:30 p.m., with the home team meeting Lincoln of Yonkers in the later game.
The championship and consolation games will be played on Saturday, Dec. 6, beginning at 2 p.m.
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