Hoops for a reason: Alabaster church hosts alumni basketball tourney

CALERA – Alabaster’s Unity Christian Center hosted its first South Shelby County Alumni Basketball Game Tournament on Saturday, Dec. 2, at Calera Middle School.

Bishop Sylvester Mixon said the tournament was held in honor of his brother Charlie Jones Shabazz who was murdered in Calera in 2011.

“My brother was a basketball player and we just wanted to do something in memory of him and something for the community that would bring everybody together,” he said.

Mixon said church members Sabrina Horton and siblings Demarcus and Shanavia Dowdell came up with the idea for the tourney. Shanavia Dowdell is now a professional basketball player in Australia.

Male and female alumni basketball players from Thompson, Calera, Montevallo and Shelby County high schools participated in the tournament.

There were four men’s teams and two female teams participating in the tourney. The teams played 20 minutes per game with the winners of the two men’s games going head to head in a playoff.

“We have a lot of people coming back home to participate in the tournament,” Mixon said.

A total of about 67 players signed up to participate.

“We hope it becomes an annual thing,” Mixon said. “Next year we want to get sponsors involved and turn into something bigger.”

Unity Christian Center is located at 804 U.S. 31 South.

For photos from this event, go to Shelbycountyphotos.com.