Unity Christian to host basketball tourney, back-to-school event July 30

Teens go head to head in last year’s 3-on-3 basketball tournament. (Contributed/Renata Brooks)

Teens go head to head in last year’s 3-on-3 basketball tournament. (Contributed/Renata Brooks)

By SAMANTHA HURST/Special to the Reporter

ALABASTER – As a basketball smacks the gymnasium floor, hundreds of kids and family members will grab school supplies and even haircuts du

ring Unity Christian Church’s back-to-school event Saturday, July 30 at Thompson High School.

“My congregation has been affected on many levels by a lot of the negative events that have happened in our community recently,” said Minister Sylvester Mixon Jr. “This is our way to counteract the negativity. We want to give the community something positive to experience.”

Unity Christian launched the 3-on-3 Basketball Tournament last year when members wanted to host a back-to-school event to help families.

When Mixon brought the idea before the entire congregation, he said the support overflowed.

“We had people coming with their cars, vans loaded down with donated supplies,” Mixon said. “They had gone above and beyond what we had asked them to do.”

Radio stations, banks, pharmacies, small businesses, artists and more joined in last year to offer give-a-ways and information.

Church member Tony Hudson helped referee the games and give free haircuts to kids last year.

Unity Christian Church member Tony Hudson cuts a youth’s hair at last year’s basketball tourney and back-to-school event. (Contributed/Renata Brooks)

Unity Christian Church member Tony Hudson cuts a youth’s hair at last year’s basketball tourney and back-to-school event. (Contributed/Renata Brooks)

“Cutting a little kids’ hair – you wouldn’t believe the smile it brings to their face,” Hudson said. “You have some kids whose parents can’t afford to get their kids’ hair cut. It doesn’t hurt me to do it for free and it makes those parents feel better too.”

Unity Christian events coordinator Da’Qwon Carr said volunteers from the church work hard to make community events like this happen. This all flows into the church’s ministry theme, Carr said, of “Each One Reach One.”

“Our church is definitely a community church and instead of being in the four walls [Mixon] always encourages us to go out,” Carr said. “We want to win souls and can only do that by reaching out to people.”

The back-to-school event helps hundreds as the church and community combine to ensure all kids start the school year off well. Unity Christian expects 300-400 people to attend this year’s event.

This year’s event will include a $3 admission for adults and kids over age 10. Kids 10 and under will get in for free. There will be a $10 fee for any adult (15 and up) and $5 fee for any youth (8-14 years old) to participate in the 3-on-3 basketball tournament. Team pictures and concessions will also be available for purchase.