While many of the area's students will enjoy relaxing during the Christmas holiday, the Harlem High School basketball teams will be doing anything but.
Coach Kim Chambers and his Harlem basketball teams will travel to the Henrico Holiday Hoops Tournament, an eight-hour bus trip to Virginia.
Photo by Jim Blaylock
Harlem coach Kim Chambers will take his boys and girls teams 350 miles on an eight-hour bus ride to play in the Henrico Holiday Hoops Tournament near Richmond, Va.
"I'm just excited to make the trip," Andre McCladdie said. "We get to travel to Virginia and play basketball against good teams. You can't ask for more than that."
Chambers will receive the opportunity, for the second consecutive year, to match up against his father, Bill Chambers, coach of Colonial Heights High.
The teams met last year, with the younger Chambers getting the best of his father in an overtime victory and then won a second game to finish the play unbeaten.
"Why in the world would I want to play him again?" Chambers asked, only half-joking. "I hold bragging rights. I beat him last year. Why do I want to give him the chance to even the score?"
Senior Sonjay Boyd said his coach was pleased with the victory last season, maybe more so than a normal, regular season win.
"He loved that win," Boyd said. "Every time he sees or talks to his dad he can bring it up. Coach won't admit it, but he probably doesn't want us to lose and make the series even."
Chambers said he likes to give his senior class "something special" every season and these trips to Virginia have been his way of thanking the players.
The trip, according to Boyd, will allow the team to be around each other, hopefully pulling the players closer.
"We are already like a family," he said. "But just like any family, sometimes we need a good trip to allow us to bond."
Chambers said it would be great if that happened, but that he just wanted the team to play some more basketball.
"There will be college scouts there," Chambers said. "It will be a chance for some of our seniors to showcase their talent for recruiters and for everybody in attendance.
"We are getting better as a team, but we haven't reached our potential. A trip like this prevents the kids from just sitting around during the vacation and allows us to get better as a team."
Tournament play began Tuesday and will run through Thursday, allowing the teams to return home before the end of the year.
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