A classic hotbed

The New Albany Hotbed Classic, which has become one of northeast Mississippi’s premiere prep sports events, had another successful outing Saturday at Memorial Gym on the New Albany Middle School campus.

“The Hotbed, often imitated, never duplicated” is the motto of the event, and the tournament, which is sponsored by New Albany Kiwanis Club, has lived up to its reputation.

The 23rd annual event featured 16 boys’ basketball teams in eight games that for the most part were close and exciting to watch.

A number of members of the Kiwanis club volunteer at the tournament, but the driving forces of the tournament for years have been Mike Nobles of BNA Bank  and Bill Parks of Parks Chevrolet, Buick and GMC.

Nobles started working with the tournament in 1999, and has headed it up since 2003. Parks and other club members decided to organize a tournament after hearing a speaker at a club meeting in 1990 talk about wanting to put New Albany on the map as a sports town.

Nobles plans to turn the reins over to David Goode of the New Albany campus of Northeast Mississippi Community College to be the lead organizer of next year’s event.

The tournament is more than basketball games. It’s a significant charity event that provides between $10,000 and $12,000 each year for various causes including college scholarships given to students in the New Albany and Union County schools.

We thank Nobles for his leadership and look forward to another terrific Hotbed next year.