Annual McDonald’s MLK Basketball Tournament

Standing at 5’4”, Shirmoy O’Garro, point guard for Charlotte Amalie High School, started playing basketball at a young age, “When I was younger, there were these two girls who used to play basketball, and they were always taller, and I asked them why were they so tall? They said playing basketball, so I thought if I played basketball I would have gotten tall, but that didn’t happen,” O’Garro laughed. “But I just kept up with the sport and I fell in love with it,” O’Garro continued.

O’Garro will be one of the many High School players facing off on the hardwood this weekend for the annual IAA / McDonald’s MLK Junior Boys And Girls Memorial Invitational Basketball Tournament.

McDonald’s is once again the title sponsor, “We’re very excited because basketball promotes a healthy active lifestyle for the youth of the USVI and all over the world, so we are definitely always going to be involved and try to be involved in every activity that’s possible within our communities,” said Miguel Padilla, Operations Manager for Arcos Dorados in the VI and Puerto Rico, which is a McDonald’s franchisee.

Nine male teams and five female teams are taking part in the tournament, from St. Thomas, St. Croix, and the British Virgin Islands.

To offer some incentive to win, McDonald’s is giving the two winning teams $2,000 each to help pay for equipment and supplies, “That comes in handy for a lot of teams because remember these teams travel back and forth, so it eases their pockets, it eases the government and it helps out with equipment and supplies for the teams,” said MLK Tournament Director, Kenny Todman.

The tournament is set for this holiday weekend, with the championship game, fittingly, happening on Monday, which is Martin Luther King Jr. Day.