DCHS now on national map thanks to success of Hoop Fest
While most people in West Tennessee and across the state know exactly where Newbern is, after two days of top-notch basketball played at DCHS during the 2nd annual Penny Hardaway Hoop Fest, basketball fans across the nation know too.
The event, broadcast live around the world on iHigh.com, certainly provided a boost to the local economy in Newbern as well as Dyersburg. From hotels to restaurants, convenience stores and gas stations, out of town visitors left with their wallets a little lighter.
The upside from the event was that it was a win-win for everyone. Another boost the basketball action provided was a positive one on Dyer County High School, host for the 2nd annual classic. DCHS Athletic Director Lynn Garner said on Monday that the community very well received the event and he was thankful to be able to host the classic.
"Hosting the event at our school was just great exposure for us and I think everyone left impressed with what we we're doing," said Garner. " We have excellent facilities and when the people from other teams starting arriving, they were impressed with what they walked in to because we heard that from the different coaches. When people from other states are very complimentary of your school it gives you a greater sense of pride."
While the event was an overall huge success -- one the DCHS basketball programs benefitted from financially -- Garner acknowledged it would have never happened if not for the generosity of the sponsors. The idea to host the event came after playing in the Hoop Fest last season in Memphis.
"When we played in the event last year, we approached the organizers about the possibility of having it at Dyer County," said Garner. "Travis (Haddock) told us what it would take and I went to a couple of our supporters and talked about it. Those supporters basically said let's do it and that's what we did."
While Garner was in awe of the community support for the event -- one where attendance for the two days exceeded 3,000 fans -- he saved his biggest thanks to those that stepped up to sponsor the event financially.
"We never would have been able to get it to Dyer County if not for those sponsors, and I personally want to thank everyone that contributed for helping to put Dyer County on the map," said Garner. "Without our sponsors, the event never happens here so they deserve as much credit as anybody.
Though the sponsors had the financial burden to bring the event to Newbern, once it arrived it was the community involving fans from both the county and the city that made the event an overwhelming success.
"We have an outstanding community that really supports our athletic programs. I think we have the best following of basketball fans in the entire state and they support what we're trying to do," said Garner. "We're proud of our school and we want everyone to be proud of what we're doing and hopefully the event will bigger and even better next year."